by Akshay Duggal ’21
Life tends to be inconsistent. It’s as though there’s always some unexpected challenge or hurdle that we must overcome in our lives. One constant, however, is the bi-annual Olympic Games.
Every two years, the largest international sporting event, alternating between the summer and winter seasons, takes place. The Olympics provide the world with a dependable, patriotic event and guarantees the audience a summer filled with impressive athletic competition from around the globe. Unfortunately, 2020 has come with many surprises that will likely disrupt the exciting routine we’ve all grown accustomed to.
The Summer Olympics, scheduled to start on the 24th of July in Tokyo, Japan, is in jeopardy. With the threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading like wildfire across the world, governments, athletes and spectators alike are concerned that conditions in Japan won’t be suitable for the Games.
However, the pandemic has disrupted more than just the Olympics. Several facets of the sporting world have been forced to make important calls to accommodate for the virus. The major sports leagues, which include the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB, have announced a month-long suspension. Meanwhile, the NCAA has completely canceled another staple sporting tournament.
This threatens many Olympic events by tampering with the timeline in which members of the national teams would be chosen to compete. One such sport that would suffer from the altered schedule is basketball. With the National Basketball Association, NBA, cutting their season short and lacking a plan following the suspension, current NBA players would not be able to compete in the Olympics.
Of course, the NBA is not the only league dealing with setbacks from the coronavirus. The Olympic Trials are, in many ways, like a teaser or pregame leading up to the summer events as the nation’s strongest athletes compete to compete. However, holding them would drastically increase the potential spread of COVID-19. In addition to the cancellation and postponement of the Olympic Trials, the ceremonial Olympic Flame Relay in Greece has been delayed due to fears of infection through the passing of the torch.
Although the IOC, International Olympic Committee, had been eager to continue on with the Olympic Games of 2020, the pandemic has forced them to postpone. As of now the IOC has issued an official statement that sets the Tokyo Olympics to start on June 23, 2021.