International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach says "protecting lives" was their primary motivation in postponing the Tokyo Games until 2021.
The IOC made the decision yesterday after Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe asked members to push back this summer's Olympics and Paralympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We will all be able to celebrate the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, even if it is only in 2021. You can be sure you can make your Olympic dream coming true," Bach said.
"There is a lot of uncertainty remaining for the entire humanity. We all are together in a very dark tunnel, we do not know how long this tunnel is and we do not know what is happening tomorrow.
"But we want this Olympic flame to be a light at the end of the tunnel. This is why we will work hard now to undertake this extremely challenging task of postponing the Games and of organising a postponed Games, which never happened before.
"We have no blueprint for this and it will need the effort of everyone and the contribution of all to make this happen because the Olympics is the most complex event on this planet. We want to provide you with the best conditions and the most safe environment for the Games.
"Give us a bit of time to study all of these questions and to put this huge jigsaw puzzle together, then to have finally a successful Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020."