Arguably one of the best times in the sports world was postponed Tuesday, Mar. 24. This year’s Olympics was set to take place in Tokyo this summer, but has now been set to open July 23, 2021 and close Aug. 8, 2021. The Paralympics, a periodic series of international multi-sports events involving athletes with a range of disabilities, including impaired muscle power, impaired passive range movement, limb deficiency and leg length difference, will take place Aug. 24 - Sept 5. 2021. Countries around the world have struggled to contain the coronavirus pandemic that has reportedly claimed more than 34,000 lives and has forced millions around the world into lockdowns. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) co-presidents Thomas Bach and Yoshiro Mori were among several officials who issued statements regarding the cancellation of the Olympics and the new dates. “ The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum’’( Talmazan, 2020. )
Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. This is not the first time the Olympics has been postponed due to a global pandemic. In the Modern Olympics, which was first held in Athens, was canceled in 1916 because of World War I, and again in 1940 and 1944 due to World War II. Tokyo was to be the host for the 1940 Olympics and the men’s World Cup in 1942 and 1946, but did not happen because of the second war. In 1972, during the Munich Olympics, there were terrorist attacks which led to the events being postponed for one day. Athletes around the globe were looking forward to becoming stars at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. U.S. athlete Caroline Marks ( surfing ) became the youngest surfer ever to qualify for the Championship Tour in 2017 as a 15-year old. Now 17, Marks is coming off a strong 2018 campaign in which she finished seventh on the women’s tour and earned Rookie of Year honor with surfing finally becoming an Olympic sport.
Noah Lyles and Sydney McLaughlin were also both primed to make a great showing at the Olympics as well. Lyles broke the 19.7-second mark in the 200-meters, he is the only other sprinter to achieve that since Usain Bolt. McLaughlin who has already made her appearance at the Olympics, when she was 16, Sydney qualified for the Rio Games and became the youngest U.S. Olympian to compete in the track and field since 1972. McLaughlin finished 16th in the 400-meter hurdles and now four years later was looking poised to break out as a medal contender this year. The proposed decision to cancel and push back this year’s 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo was welcomed by many professional athletes and national committees after the growing cause and effects of the Coronavirus outbreak.