The 2020 Olympic Games Postponed

Ashlesha Mishra, Staff Writer

Since 1896, the Olympic Games have been a tradition for many. Whether they are participating or viewing, people all over the world enjoy the event. Many even consider it a tradition. This year, however, the Olympics Games have been drastically affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic that has devastated the entire world has now become the reason that the Olympics 2020 Games had to be postponed.

The event, originally planned to begin on July 24, 2020 and to run until August 9, 2020, has officially been declared to be pushed until July 23, 2021 to August 8, 2021. According to ESPN, “Olympic competition has been canceled only three times in the 124-year history of the modern Games, and all three instances were because of global conflict (1916, World War I; 1940 and 1944, World War II)… never before has a Games been pushed back a year, an enormous undertaking for a global event with more than 11,000 athletes from around the globe.” The postponing of the event this year has proven to be truly historic and has been added to the rare occurrence of the games being pushed until later.

The event was initially supposed to occur in Tokyo, Japan. However, after the COVID-19 outbreak began to show its effects at a global level, there was no choice but to cancel it. The reason for this is simply safety. Due to having no vaccine for the COVID-19 disease as of now, participants gathering at one place and then returning to their own countries could mean an uncontrollable spread. LA Times said, “’With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games.” The cancellation of the event has affected the participants the most. Sophomore Surya Bollapragada said, “If they are all-stars, I’m pretty sure they are comfortable since they usually get paid a lot. They will obviously be sad, but they are not more vulnerable to coronavirus because they are athletes. In fact, they are less vulnerable because of the position and status that comes with their career. Of course, that is only if they are an “all-star” or well-paid athlete. I feel for incoming college athletes or any new sports players who are probably devastated by their first games and such being canceled. However, it is for the safety of everyone to temporarily cancel these sporting events.” Some are not worrying as much and are using the lockdown that is in place as an opportunity given to them for self-growth and additional time to build their strength, which would allow them to be more prepared for the games in 2021. Yet ESPN adds, “Older athletes who were at the tail end of their careers face the most uncertainty.”

The postponing has also caused a loss of a huge amount of money. According to CNN, “Organizers said in December that the cost of hosting the Olympics was 1.35 trillion yen ($12.35 billion)… And while postponing a huge event will have massive ramifications, Siegel stressed the focus should be on the “health and safety” of the athletes… ‘We are all experiencing unfathomable disruptions, and everyone’s lives are being impacted accordingly.’” The organizers know that this is a serious matter that can be a potential danger to the entire human population if continued. Thus, the organizers have taken a great step in favor of the well-being of everyone. While the newly scheduled time span for the games is 2021, many people do not anticipate it to be any time soon. While freshman Kelsey Osburn says, “2021,” to be when it could be safe to hold the games, Bollapragada says that “it probably won’t be safe until the summer of 2022.”

The current pandemic of the COVID-19 has affected everyone in some kind of way. All around the world, employees are being laid off. Although people are starting to lose their jobs, reports say that the United States has not encountered the economic outcomes just yet. The consequences of this have affected the Olympics as NY Post described, “Winter sports have been shut down. Spring sports have been postponed… ‘It will come in stages,’ he added. ‘We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.’” For now, the postponing of the Olympics to a later date is a major happening as it has not occurred in years and only the future can tell us if the situation is stable enough for the games to proceed.