For the first time in its 124 years’ history, the Olympic Games have been postponed. The Games were initially scheduled to take place between July and August in Japan, but the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has forced the International Olympic Committee to take drastic actions in the name of safety.
While this is the first time the Games have been postponed, three Games have been outright cancelled in the past: 1916, 1940 and the Winter Games in 1944 in response to the First and Second World Wars respectively.
On Mondayk, the IOC announced the new dates for the Olympic Games following a meeting with the Japanese Olympic organising committee. The Games will take place between July 23 and August 8 2021, while the Paralympics will start on August 24 2021.Olymp
The postponement is sure to hit Japan hard, after the country already invested over US$12 billion into hosting the Games, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has come out in support of the IOC’s decision.
Of course, moving the Games to a different date is going to create immense chaos in the global sporting calendar.
For example, the World Athletic and Swimming Championships are both scheduled for next year, along with the European Football Championships.
The logistics involved in trying to accommodate the changes is estimated to be in the billions, according to Japanese financial broadsheet The Nikkei, and this doesn’t take into account other costs such as salaries, maintenance and sponsorship rights.
In addition, the strain on athletes is going to be immense.
Some, like Australian Olympian swimmer Cate Campbell, have described the ongoing pandemic as “shattering dreams and visions of the future” (TimesLive, March 24).