Keeping Up With the Olympics

Keeping+Up+With+the+Olympics

Isabella Talavera

By Isabella Talavera
Copy Editor

2020 constantly had people on the edge of their seats, whether it was due to the news, politics, COVID-19, or a particularly enthralling show, but certainly not for the quadrennial Summer Olympics. The COVID-19 breakout forced the Olympic games to be postponed until summer 2021; for this reason, Tokyo, Japan will host the international games if plans continue on uninterrupted.

However, if the games need to be postponed one more time, the Olympics will be canceled for this year.

“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” a joint statement released by former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee states, “Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan.”

The delay, while necessary for the health of tourists and athletes, has inevitably caused problems for people worldwide. According to senior researcher Jun Saito at the Japan Center for Economic Research, in an article for the NY Times, Japan had invested between $32 billion and $41 billion in building competition venues and adding hotel capacity. 

As for the athletes, they’ve dedicated themselves to training so they wouldn’t fall behind during the games. Athletes could no longer use their typical practice equipment, so competitors practiced at home with heavy objects as weights, home pools for laps, and pets or children for company.

“You try to plan,” said US wrestler Frank Molinaro, who retired after not attending the 2020 games, said to NPR, “four years ahead, y’know, and sometimes you try to plan 10 years ahead and there’s really no guarantee for your next breath. [Or] the next day. Things can get turned upside down.”

Hopefully, if the COVID-19 vaccines roll out in time and the coronavirus is diminished, then the Olympics will begin on July 23 and end on August 8. 

PHOTO COURTESY OF JAE C. HONG/ NY TIMES
Tokyo businesses and citizens still hold hope for the upcoming Olympics, as Japan has suffered economic loss among other things from the delay of the games.