(Photo: PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)
The 2020 Olympics is now the 2021 Olympics
This marked the first time that the Olympics has been impacted by anything other than war.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach announced Tuesday their decision to postpone the Olympics until 2021. The IOC has been facing pressure to delay the Games, which was originally supposed to take place from July 24 to August 9.
However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Prime Minister and IOC president thought it best to rescheduled to a later date to “safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” according to the statement.
However, the Olympic flame will stay in Japan because leaders agreed that the Games in Tokyo could still be a beacon of hope for many during these troubled times. In light of the COVID-19 disease, which has infected more than 381,000 people globally, countries like Australia and Canada said they would not be sending athletes to Tokyo.
Other countries like the US, Germany and Poland, along with sporting organizations, called for Japan to move the Games to the following year. Athletes who were unable to train due to closed facilities and restricted access to coaches and training partners also voiced their opposition to the Games proceeding as scheduled.
This is not the first time the Olympic have been rescheduled. In 1916, 1940 and 1944, the Games were canceled completely because of world wars. Moreover, the financial implications of moving the Olympics to 2021 are expected to be huge.
By: Maytinee Kramer