By DENNIS ERTURK & NOUK KEOVYPHONE
History strikes as the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games are postponed due to the accelerating COVID-19 pandemic and are now set to start on July 23, 2021 and end on Aug. 8.
The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games was scheduled for July 24, 2020, but the coronavirus steered the entire event to the following year.
The Olympic Games have never been rescheduled due to anything other than the wars that occurred in 1916, 1940 and 1944. This postponement has cost Japan billions of dollars, but as the coronavirus hit globally, postponement procedures were forced to be in full effect.
The worldwide, thrilling sporting event gathers many families together as they cheer on their favorite athletes. This year, there were over 11,000 athletes scheduled to compete with hopes of standing on the podium with their medals.
Not only does it affect the crowd attending the Olympic Games, but the viewers at home also anticipate a remarkable and historical event to watch on television.
“I have no preference in them moving the Olympics, but I was excited to watch the first year they’ve had rock climbing,” fifth-year geology student Alec Martinez said. “I also was looking forward to skateboarding and surfing too because I saw it was in this year’s games.”
The Olympic Games being delayed has been tough for many athletes as the qualification process for the larger U.S. Olympic trials in sports such as swimming, track and field and gymnastics were still happening when the coronavirus pandemic shifted the games to 2021.
Terrence Burns, an executive vice president at Engine Shop, a marketing agency in New York, has over 30 years of experience in Olympic bidding, sponsorship, sports marketing expertise and branding.
“Although 57% (of athletes) had already qualified for the games and now have assurances that their qualifications will be valid next year, 43% have yet to do so,” Burns said. “All will now have to re-plan their training programs for the next year. This is currently further complicated by containment measures in place in many countries, which have made training, particularly for team sports, hugely challenging.”
The functions of the Olympics work just like any other sporting competition. There must be adequate training and practice that goes into each season, and the coronavirus pandemic has had a skewed effect on athletes everywhere, as some athletes do not have the money or resources to train at a home gym, which limits them severely, compared to others with those luxuries.
Nicholas Blume, a first-year sociology student, looked forward to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
He said he will miss staying up late and watching various sports during the summer nights and the never-ending amount of coverage in a plethora of sports.
“It really kind of sucks that we have to wait at least another year for the Olympics because every four years it comes along, and it always seems super fast,” Blume said.
An athlete himself, Blume empathizes with the Olympic athletes but understands the precautions being taken by postponing the event.
Although the nature of things in the world are currently mixed with the great unknown, it is with great optimism that we will see the Olympics return in their full glory in Tokyo in 2021.
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