The Tokyo Olympics for 2020 are officially postponed due to COVID-19.
Before COVID-19, the Olympic Games had never been postponed or canceled for something other than the World Wars in 1916, 1940 and 1944. The opening ceremony was originally set for July 24 in Tokyo, but has been postponed to July 23-Aug. 8, 2021. Fifty-six years after hosting the Olympic Games, Japan will be hosting the Summer Games for the second time.
According to the organizers of the Olympic Games in 2020, these games will be “the most innovative ever organized, and will rest on three fundamental principles to transform the world: striving for your personal best; accepting one another; and passing on a legacy for the future.”
The Tokyo National Stadium, where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and athletics competitions will be staged, will be completely revamped and replaced by a new arena.
The new schedule was agreed upon in a conference call between International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori and others. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee created a survey and sent it to over 4,000 American Olympic supporters. Seven in ten respondents argued that postponing the Olympics for a year might be unfair. Athletes will be able to gain another full year of training before the games begin.
VWU Women’s Soccer athlete, Alex Davidson, discussed what this means for Winter Olympians. “For the Winter Olympians, I would hope they understand the incredibly unique time we’re living in, so while I’m sure they’d like to have the advantage of an additional year to train they’re probably just happy that they still have plenty of time for this all to pass before their event takes place.”
Olympic champion swimmer Katinka Hosszu posted a picture of herself smiling, saying as she felt “lucky … in this unlucky situation” to now know the dates of the Games and have a full year to prepare.
Mexican diver Rommel Pacheco reminded his fans to “stay home, maintain ourselves, and end the emergency to continue preparing ourselves.” He added, “I insist today the most important thing is everyone’s health.” French modern pentathlete Elodie Clouvel responded with, “First, let’s eradicate this virus and stay home. The celebration will be held later and we’ll enjoy that battle together.”
Simone Biles, U.S. Gymnastics competitor, explains that another year of physical training will be easy. It is the mental aspect that may cause a problem. Another year of mentally training to become the best will take a toll on many athletes during this tough time. Davidson discussed her thoughts regarding the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics, saying,“I think they’re probably devastated, because they’ve worked so hard to prepare for 4 years, but this does give them even more time to get fitter and better overall.” Davidson wished to watch the Games this summer, yet due to the pandemic she no longer can. “With everything going on, of course I’d love to have the Olympics to watch, but that puts those athletes at risk.”
VWU women’s soccer player, Mary Jackson, discussed why postponing the Games could have positive effects. “Alex Morgan, who is a part of the the US women’s soccer team, is currently pregnant and now with the games being postponed until next summer, she will have a lot more time to make her come back and play in the Games.”
Postponing the Olympic Games is devastating emotionally and financially. The estimated cost is roughly $12.6 billion, while others have said that figure is closer to $25 billion. The games being postponed will also force sponsors and broadcasters to take a major hit after spending billions on advertising. Postponing the games will double the cost of the games originally. The expenses are mostly granted by the government during this time. NBC supported the scheduling of the Olympic Games. NBC’s rights fees make up more of the IOC’s income than any other company.
Tickets for the 2021 Olympic Games will remain on sale, and a complete refund will be given to those who are unable to attend. The Summer 2020 Olympic organizers carefully thought of transport, volunteers and ticket holders before making a definite decision regarding the dates of the games. Postponing the Olympics Games will hopefully help the world heal and move on from the COVID-19 pandemic. “The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” Bach said. “When you’re talking about the lives of millions of people being at risk of infection, I think that postponing is the best way to protect everyone,” Davidson said.