Did you know that Olympic gold medals are mostly made of silver? Or that at least one of the Olympic Rings’ colors appears in every national flag? The Summer Olympics take place every four years with the last one being in 2016 which makes this the year for the next Olympics. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo has been postponed to the summer of 2021
This is the first time in history that the Olympic games have been postponed, although they have been cancelled three times before in 1916, 1940, and 1944 due to the World Wars.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government reached the agreement to postpone the games instead of cancelling them. The IOC released a statement claiming that cancelling the games would, “have destroyed the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes from all 206 National Olympic Committees.”
American sports organization, Athletes in Action, stated that “The IOC finally gave in after World Athletics, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and other countries petitioned that the Games be postponed.”
According to the Olympic Games official website, “It is clear that all those athletes who have qualified for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 already remain qualified… some 57 percent of qualification places have already been obtained.”
This gives athletes who have not already qualified more time to train and improve their skills as the new qualification deadline has been set for June 29, 2021. As for athletes who have already qualified, they have more time to relax after the stressful qualification rounds and more time to prepare to compete for their countries next summer.
Plenty of athletes took to social media to show their support for the decision to postpone the games until next year. Teddy Riner, an Olympic super-heavyweight judo champion who recently lost his 10-year undefeated record, said on his Instagram, “First, we have a more important fight to win.”
Dina Asher Smith, a 200 metres world champion from Great Britain, also went to her social media to deliver a short message, “Same (fire emoji), new dates,” which was designed to most likely motivate and inspire her fellow athletes.
Six-time world champion and London 2012 bronze medalist for boxing, Mary Kom who has already qualified will be 38 when competing in Tokyo next summer. Kom tweeted her support shortly after the official announcement, “Excellent and right decision.”
Decatur freshman, Tyler Udzielak, who is a fan of Olympic basketball is not an avid watcher of the Olympics, but he will miss it this summer, “I’m not the biggest Olympics fan, but I’m kind of disappointed because that means no sports for a longer period of time.”
When asked about the decision to postpone the games until 2021, Udzielak expressed his support for it, “I do agree with the decision though because we are trying to keep everyone healthy, but this is multiple months from now so it should be good to play by then.”
As of right now, the 2020 Summer Olympics will kick off on July 23, 2021 and conclude on August 8, 2021.