The International Olympic Committee decision, to defer the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by a year, though delayed was expected. Especially after the clamour by multiple sports organizations and member nations that hosting the games would pose a serious health risk to competitors (“Tokyo Olympics postponed by a year over coronavirus pandemic,” Mar.24, Gulf Today).
In fact, the writing was on the wall after Canada and Australia withdrew their teams and the US Olympic Committee and World Athletics also joined the chorus calling for a postponement. Earlier athletes had raised a hue and cry over lack of training options after lockdowns were imposed in various countries.
Besides training being difficult for athletes it also exposed them to the risk of contracting or spreading the disease. Competitions and qualifying events were being scrapped, and yet the IOC decision was long in coming.
Of course the Olympic Games grinding to a halt is unprecedented because despite the Summer Games experiencing boycotts, terrorist attacks and protests in the past, it was being held religiously every four years since 1948.But the novel coroanvirus which is killing thousands has not spared any sporting event.
It is no doubt a huge blow for the hosts which had won praise for its organization and had its venues finished much ahead of schedule. Furthermore the tickets were also massively oversubscribed. But it is also a massive blow to sports fans all over the world. We also waited with baited breath for four years. We have little choice now but to keep our spirits going for another year.