The Tokyo Olympics postponed until 2021, alleviating athletes' anguish

The Tokyo Olympics were postponed on Tuesday until 2021, the first such delay in the 124-year modern history of the Games, as the coronavirus crisis destroyed the last international sports spectacle that still stands today. Although it was a great blow to Japan, which invested $ 12 billion in the previous period, the decision was a relief for thousands of athletes who worried about how to train while the world was heading towards the blockade due to the disease that had claimed more of 16,500 lives. The pressure had increased on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its powerful president Thomas Bach, with some critical athletes and sports bodies in time to make an inevitable decision. After a call with Bach, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on July 24-August. The competition would be rescheduled for the summer of 2021 at the latest as proof of victory over the virus.

“We asked President Bach to consider the postponement of approximately one year so that athletes can play in the best conditions,” said Abe. “President Bach said he agrees 100 percent.” The IOC confirmed that. Although it was the first postponement of the Olympic Games, they were canceled several times during the two world wars of the 20th century. The great boycotts of the Cold War also interrupted the Moscow and Los Angeles Games in 1980 and 1984.

Sad but relieved athletes: Athletes were disappointed but widely supported the delay, given the health risks and interruption of their training as gyms, stadiums, and pools closed around the world. “I compete in a small bike race, which is nothing compared to what is happening in the world right now,” said US Olympic BMX champion Connor Fields, before the official announcement. “No sport is more important if it means that more people could die from this.” Two-time Australian Olympic swimming champion Cate Campbell said she was reeling but ready for the new challenge.

“The goal posts have not disappeared, they have simply changed,” he said, after his nation announced that it would not go to Tokyo 2020 if it kept going. However, gold medal contender and American skateboarder Nyjah Huston was frustrated, especially given that his sport was slated to debut in Tokyo. “When skating finally reaches the Olympics, it is postponed,” the 25-year-old wrote on Instagram, after a delay began to seem inevitable. “I felt smart (sic) too … now I’m going to have to be a year older for this!” The coronavirus outbreak has been unleashed worldwide since the beginning of this year, infecting almost 380,000 people and destroying sporting events from soccer euros to Formula One. Despite their disappointment, not to mention the logistical headaches and Looming financial losses, a survey showed that about 70% of Japanese people agreed with a delay. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters that the delayed Games would continue to be labeled “Tokyo 2020”.

Jumper without sandbox: In a crowded sports calendar, which will offset this year’s cancellations, World Athletics said it would be willing to move the 2021 world championship, scheduled for Aug. 6-15 in Oregon to clear the way for the Olympics. . The Athletics Association said a survey of more than 4,000 athletic competitors showed that 78% wanted the Games to be delayed. The association’s American founder, two-time triple-jump Olympic champion Christian Taylor, is among athletes unable to train due to social distancing and facility closings. “There is no sandbox for me, I have not put jumping spikes for two weeks,” he told the Britain Times newspaper. Tuesday’s decision came 122 days before the planned opening ceremony at the newly built Japan National Stadium, which would usher in the 16-day sports carnival with 11,000 athletes from 206 nations and territories.

It was not the first time that a Japanese Olympiad encountered problems. The 1940 Summer and Winter Olympics were due to be held in Japan, but were canceled due to World War II. It was still unclear whether 57 percent of athletes who had already secured places in Tokyo would need to qualify again for the reorganized Olympics. The torch relay was being canceled.