What has COVID-19 done to the Olympics?

With all that is going on in the world, are these Olympic Games going to have a normal feel to them?

Chris Elwell, Staff Writer

With the 2020 Summer Olympic Games being pushed back to 2021 due to COVID-19, numerous questions are being asked about the current status of the games. The Olympics bring all of the world together in unity to watch the greatest athletes in the world compete against each other trying to bring pride back to their families and their countries. Since the first Olympic Games that was set in 1896, the worldwide stage and recognition has grown exponentially. They take place every four years, and it has grown so much that in 1994, the Olympic Committee decided to alternate between the Summer and Winter Games, meaning that instead of there being Olympic games every four years, it is now every two years.

Now that they were pushed into next year and possibly even further back, what is going to happen? Will people be able to watch the best athletes in the world represent their countries? Nothing can be certain yet with these uncertain times we find ourselves in, but the people in charge of making these decisions definitely will do whatever they can to assure that the games are played. This can also be a tough time for the athletes, because they just have to sit around and wait for the time that they’re able to compete. One thing that this could lead to is the lack of preparation, readiness, and just not being at their best. They are set four years after the previous games for a reason, and that is so the athletes can prepare themselves and be their best when it’s their time.

Now that the games are pushed back into 2021 in Tokyo, Japan, it will be five years that the Summer Olympians have had to prepare to be at their best. This could either end really well or really poorly for the athletes, because all of them follow a plan or a schedule of some sort which helps them get ready on time.  The venue has never changed throughout this whole process, but almost everything else will be forced to change, ranging from housing arrangements, transportation, and even spectators coming to watch all of the sports in action. They all have a reason for everything that they do in preparation for their sport, and this all just has them out of sorts. A routine is the most important part of an athlete’s preparation, and if that is thrown off, it can be hard for them to adjust and stay sharp.

Another factor that makes this year’s Olympics even more interesting is the addition of five new sports. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has made the decision to add surfing, sport climbing, skateboarding, karate, as well as baseball and softball. With the addition of these sports, it means more athletes will be able to compete in the games, and therefore be able to represent their countries. It is every athlete’s dream to be able to represent themselves and their country by doing what they do best. Since they started playing their sport and perfecting their craft, every athlete has the image in their mind of them winning an Olympic medal and getting to stand on a pedestal as the whole world watches.

The IOC has been doing everything that they possibly can to assure that the games have somewhat a normal feel as to what they have in the past. However, with the strange circumstances that we’ve seen this year, it’s just not as easy as they thought it would be. It is their job to put the athletes in the best places to succeed, and this time around they sure have their work cut out for them. They have made plenty of hard decisions already, such as the delay of the event entirely, but it was something that had to be done to protect the safety of everyone involved in an event like this. While it may be important to a large number of people around the world to be able to watch these people represent their home countries, it doesn’t hold nearly as much importance as the health of the athletes, officials, representatives, and all of the other people that make this what we know it as today.

This whole process will certainly be filled with its ups and downs for all sides involved, but in the end, all that matters is that we will be able to watch the greatest athletes in the world be able to do their thing again. The one thing this world needs right now is a sense of normalcy, and the Olympics may be the one thing that can help with that. These athletes work so hard to achieve their dream of getting a medal placed around their neck, and they’ll do anything for that chance right now. Any of them would tell you that they just want a chance to do their thing, and the world would just love to be able to witness it again. It is going to be a tough process to get the games up and running again, but as long as it can happen sooner rather than later, it is clear that all sides of the spectrum will do whatever they can to make it happen.