Friday will mark what was to be a glorious day for the nation: The opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a global sporting event that draws spectators, media and political delegations from around the world to watch elite athletes showcase their competitive prowess.

But the novel coronavirus sabotaged those plans. The games are now slated to begin a year from now on July 23, 2021.

As organizers commemorate a benchmark originally anticipated to be a starting line, it's unclear which organizing body and to what degree taxpayers will shoulder the cost of delaying the event, and whether the pandemic will have subsided by this time next year — not just in this country but globally. Many factors remain undecided, while others seem beyond speculation or control.