World of sports put on hold by COVID-19

Tom Dallmier, North Campus Staff

The Olympics have been put on hold for the first time in the long storied history of its existence. They now face postponement until Jul. 23, 2021 due to concerns surrounding the Coronavirus.

With the world being affected in almost every way, this comes as no surprise. As the NHL, MLB, NBA, and professional soccer all postpone games and events indefinitely, this move seems to be following suit. 

Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, said, “With this announcement, I am confident that, working together, we can master this unprecedented challenge. Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”

Originally scheduled to run this year from July 24 through August 9, the postponement will make it so they are carried out Jul. 23 through Aug. 8 of 2021. Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo stated that the Olympic Games will not be held past the current scheduled time next year, and they will be carried out in their entirety.

Factors taken into consideration for the decision were to protect the athletes involved, and the many people that would be in attendance. Such a spectacle draws a crowd from many countries with varying severity of impact from COVID-19, so it could lead to a brand new wave of cases across the world. 

Athletes whose lives are centered around the sport are not going to miss their shot at glory due to the postponing of the event. According to the International Olympic Committee, all the athletes that already qualified and quota places already assigned for the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not change. 

Heading in to April, the decision was an urgent one, as the resources used to put together an Olympic games are drastic. According to an Associated Press report, the 2016 Rio Olympics cost $13 billion to put together. Putting such money into an event relying on tourists and bringing money in could upset stakeholders, athletes, and Olympic fans if Tokyo would be forced to shut down the Olympic Games at the last minute. The committee decided to play it safe and ensure the Games would be able to reach their full potential and postpone the worldwide event amid a crippling health crisis.