As the world battles to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, it has become necessary to limit human interaction as much as possible. This has led to the suspension and cancellation of events, especially sporting events, as a way of stopping the highly contagious virus from spreading at an alarming rate.
All over the world, various sporting organisations have suspended the current season, cancelled events, and adopted other measures to put a halt to things. It did not even help when some sports decided to continue behind closed doors or in the absence of fans. When players, managers, and coaches started testing positive to the virus, it became very necessary to stop things altogether.
The Olympics is the latest event to suffer because of the coronavirus. The event, which brings the best participants from over 30 sports together to make their countries proud as they reach for the prestigious Olympic medals, was scheduled to hold in Tokyo, Japan, beginning on the 24th of July 2020.
The Olympics is a very huge sporting events that records a high attendance of people in the city where it is taking place. Just to have an idea, the Olympics attracted over 11,000 participants in the Rio 2016 Olympics, with over 500,000 people coming from all parts of the world to enjoy the many sporting events taking place first-hand.
News of the postponement was hinted by Dick Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee, the body in charge of the Olympics. Before that, the Canadian and Australian Olympic committees had expressed their unwillingness to participate in the Tokyo Olympics, calling for its postponement.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe announced that after due consultation and agreement between Japan and the IOC, the Olympics would not be cancelled but would be moved to 2021.
A joint statement by the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organising committee stated, “the games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021 to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”
Despite the shift in date, the event would still be called the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. It was also agreed that the Olympic flame, which serves as a reminder of light at the end of the dark tunnel the world is currently in, would remain in Japan.
This is the first time the Olympic Games would be shifted to another year since they began in Athen in 1896, although they were cancelled during the First and Second World War.
Written by: Leon Osamor