The Reason Why Olympics In 2021 Will Still Be Called The 2020 Olympic Games

Not long after the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics were officially postponed until 2021, folks began using social media to say the brand needed to be corrected. Facebook and Twitter users said Olympic organizers must change the official logo and slogan to Tokyo 2021.

It won't happen, and it has nothing to do with changing signs around Tokyo or the amount of promotional material already distributed. It's all about marketing and branding, and it's also what the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said this week when it announced the one-year postponement.

In a statement, the IOC said it met with worldwide leaders about the 2020 Olympics, and they wish that the Tokyo Games will serve as a "beacon of hope" for the world as it faces the worldwide pandemic called COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus.

"The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present," the IOC said. "Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan.

"It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020."

2020 Tokyo Olympics
People pass an advert for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on March 25, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Following yesterdays announcement that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed to 2021 because of the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, IOC officials have said they hope to confirm a new Olympics date as soon as possible. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

The Modern Olympics began in 1896 in Athens, Greece, which was home to the ancient Olympics. Organizers of the modern-day Games agreed to hold the Olympics every four years. Only three times in history (1916, 1940, 1944) have the Olympics been postponed altogether—because of World Wars I and II. At no time have they been canceled for a pandemic, and moving the Games to another calendar is unprecedented.

In 1924, the Modern Olympics became known as the Summer Olympics as the WInter Games were introduced. The Summer and WInter Olympics were held in the same year every quad through 1992, and then the Winter Games were held again in 1994 and every four years after that. This broke up the cycle of having two Olympics in one year.

Now, the Tokyo Summer Olympics will be held in the summer of 2021, about 8-9 months prior to the 2022 Beijing WInter Olympics.

However, when history looks back on the Tokyo Olympics that are to take place in 2021, they'll likely have a footnote, or asterisk, that says the "Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed until 2021" because of the worldwide pandemic.

Sports broadcasters who announce the Games from Tokyo next year will probably sound like a broken record when they keep saying why it's called the "2020 Tokyo Olympics," and the medals and souvenirs will all have 2020 on them.

But during an unprecedented time comes unprecedented circumstances.

For if anything, the IOC could just say "These are the Games of the 32nd Olympiad," which is the 32nd Summer Olympics since that first one in 1896. This is Tokyo's second Summer Olympics.

The 33rd Olympiad is scheduled for 2024 in Paris (its third Olympics), followed by the 34th Olympiad in Los Angeles (also a third).