The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed several sporting events since its arrival at the beginning of 2020. Granted, some sports have still been able to crown champions, but there still have been plenty of sporting casualties.
The most recent event could be the Tokyo Olympics, which was originally set for last summer and was rescheduled for July of this year. The Japanese government has reportedly accepted that the international event will not take place.
According to Richard Lloyd Parry with The Times, it has already been privately concluded that it will be canceled and that the focus will soon shift towards Tokyo trying to secure the games in 2032.
The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus, and the focus is now on securing the Games for the city in the next available year, 2032 https://t.co/bsuB9wMt30
— The Times (@thetimes) January 21, 2021
“No one wants to be the first to say so, but the consensus is that it’s too difficult,” a source told Parry in the article. “Personally, I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
Imagine being an athlete who has spent years training for this moment. Then imagine that being taken away from you even though other sporting events continue around the world. This isn’t a “see you next year” type of situation.
Granted, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee is saying all the right things right now. They released the official statement later on Thursday:
(3/3) We have not received any information suggesting the Games will not happen as planned, and our focus remains on the health and preparedness of Team USA athletes ahead of the Games this summer."
— USOPC News (@USOPC_News) January 22, 2021
That’s great and all, but what’s going on behind the scenes is what will ultimately matter. If Tokyo or the Japanese government don’t feel comfortable hosting the games in 2021, then move the event. Give these athletes a chance to compete.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.