Tokyo Olympics 2020 postponed to 2021

IOC postpone the Games for the safety of athletes and fans

Finally- International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced to postpone the much anticipated Tokyo Olympics to next year. Now the world’s largest sports event will be held in 2021. The pressure was mounting on the IOC to postpone the Olympics as the COVID-19 pandemic forced many countries to lockdown. The Olympic Games was scheduled between July 24-Aug 9- 2020.

The decision of postponement came 122 days before the planned opening ceremony at Japan’s newly built National Stadium, which was to usher in the 16-day event featuring 11,000 athletes from 206 nations and territories.
It is not the first time a Japanese Olympics has run into problems. Both the 1940 summer and Winter Olympics were to be held in Japan but were canceled due to World War Two.
The spread of coronavirus forces many governments to impose lockdown in different countries. Many countries also imposed travel restrictions and closed down their airspace and airports for international flights.

Many sports bodies and athletes were demanding the postponement of Tokyo Olympic Games from 2020. This is the first time in the modern history of 124 years of Olympic Games that Games have been postponed because of an epidemic.
It is a big disappointment for both Japanese organising committee and sports lovers. Japan spends $12 billion on the preparation of the Games. But it is a sigh of relief for athletes who were finding it difficult to train themselves for the games in the middle of lockdowns and quarantines. Athletes were disappointed but broadly endorsed the delay, given health risks and disruption to their training as gyms, stadiums and swimming pools closed around the world.
The IOC and Japanese government are hoping that coronavirus epidemic will be over than and it would be possible to organise the games in summer of 2021. The postponement is a deep disappointment for Japan’s prime minister, who has staked his legacy on the Games’ success and hoped it would bring a tourism and consumer boom. Such was his enthusiasm that he appeared as video game character Super Mario at the 2016 Olympics’ closing ceremony.
The Olympic flame, already lit at Olympia in Greece and taken to Japan for a now-cancelled torch relay, would stay in the host nation as a symbol of hope. “Sport is not the most important thing right now, preserving human life is,” Bach said. “This Olympic flame will be the light at the end of this tunnel.”

Though it was the first Olympics’ postponement, the Games were cancelled outright three times during the last century’s two World Wars. Cold War boycotts also disrupted the Moscow and Los Angeles Olympics in 1980 and 1984.
The coronavirus outbreak has raged around the world this year, infecting nearly 380,000 people and wiping out the international sporting calendar.
Though 2021 looks crowded, as the sports world makes up for this year’s cancellations, World Athletics said it was willing to move its world championships, scheduled for Aug. 6-15, 2021, in Oregon, to make way for the Olympics.
It was not yet clear whether athletes who had already secured spots in Tokyo this summer — more than half of those due to compete — would need to qualify again. The Athletics Association said a poll of more than 4,000 track and field competitors showed 78 per cent had wanted the Games delayed.
Despite their disappointment, not to mention the logistical headaches and financial losses to come, a poll indicated that about 70pc of Japanese agreed with a delay.
                                                                                      Saqib Sheikh 

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