Olympics in 2021
Uncertainty in international sports
Although many of us were disappointed that the Summer Olympics were cancelled in 2020 due to the heightened COVID-19 pandemic, none of us were surprised. However, as things begin to slowly get better around the world, action is now being taken towards a 2021 Summer Olympics which is scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan.
Various parties have been meeting regarding the potential of both the Summer Olympics and the Paralympic Games as athletes continue to do their best to train in the current circumstances. Each is determined to make their respective countries proud whenever they are able to compete on the national stage again.
Given the current state of the world’s COVID-19 situation and the large variety of variants that are also emerging, it has been decided that, while the games will move forward to take place in July 2021, the Olympics and Paralympics will have no spectators in attendance. Although this will be upsetting for many, it is what is needed to ensure the safety of those who are participating.
A comment given from President Hashimoto Seiko states “the essentials of the games will remain unchanged, as athletes give their utmost and inspire the world with transcendent performances…”
Although things will look very different for this year’s Olympic and Paralympic games, the purpose of the games will hopefully remain the same as always: the desire for athletes to represent their countries and return home with medals in their respective categories while also inspiring others to wish to do so in the future shall hopefully translate in light of this year’s restrictions.
There has also been talk that, while the plans continue to be finalized for the Tokyo Olympic games, the preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games are beginning to take place as well. The Winter Olympics and Paralympics are scheduled to take place in Beijing, China next year. Assuming everything goes well for this upcoming year, China will most likely be taking very similar precautions for the 2022 games, as long as these protocols are proven effective.
Before we look too far down the road to the winter games, we need to ensure that we can get through the summer games safely. The health of the athletes and staff must be top priority.
With that in mind, traditions are also in the mind of many of those involved. The biggest and arguably the most important being the lighting of the torch in Greece, where it then travels between countries before finally arriving in the host country for the opening ceremonies of that years respected Olympic Games. While the passing of this torch may look different from in the past, nevertheless the tradition itself must live on.
With increased restrictions and the uncertainty that lies ahead in many people’s lives about what our day-to-day living may look like, the continuation of the Olympics and Paralympics is something that will instill hope in many individuals. Although times seem bleak still, there is a light – we just have to work to reach it.
Even though you may be homebound during the summer if trips are not yet allowed, you will still have these inspiring games to look forward to.