The historic postponement of major sports events

Almost all international tournaments have been postponed due to Corona virus pandemic, be it Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics, Euro2020 or the African Cup of Nations.

The (IOC) International Olympic Committee took a hard decision to postpone the 2020 summer games to the summer of 2021. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the iconic tennis tournament Wimbledon has also been called off for the first time since the Second World War.

The All England club (AELTC) and the committee of management of the championship took the stern decision to cancel Wimbledon 2020. The 134th championship will instead be held from the 28th June to 11th of July in 2021.

However, the Olympic Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Tokyo 2020 so that all official merchandise, torches, emblems, mascot etc. do not go waste.

This postponement is historic in nature as the organizers have postponed the event for the first time in its 124- years of the modern history of Olympics. This is also the first time an Olympic event has been postponed in peacetime (not during international wartime). Earlier, the games were not held during World War II considering the turmoil across the world.

It is for the second time for Japan when scheduled Olympics couldn’t be organized there. In 1940, Japan was to be the first Asian country to host the Olympics but due the military aggression prevalent in Asia forced the annulment of the Olympics scheduled in Japan. The 1940 Olympics also known as the “Missing Olympics” were switched to Helsinki (Finland) before finally being scrapped because of World War II. 

The rescheduling will bear economic consequences as Tokyo spent close to $12.6 billion to host the Games. A postponement could cost $6 billion as the short- term period loss.

It will also be a bitter blow to sponsors and major broadcasters who rely on this four yearly event for critical advertising revenue.

This decision of IOC favors the economic loss but cannot afford to afford thousands of lives. If this decision could save the lives of the athletes and the people involved in the event from such a pandemic disease then for the sake of the security of human life it’s better to face economic cost of the postponement.

People and athletes all across the globe are reacting to this news with a mixture of relief and sadness.

USA’s double Olympic swimming gold medalist, Lilly King posted on Instagram, a concise message “Just one year to get better #Tokyo2020”

Twitter witnessed a lot of mixed reactions from athletes, Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge applauded this decision by calling it a “wise decision” whereas many athletes said it’s a heart break for them they “waited for years for this”, The Brinton on twitter wrote, “Waited eight years for this, what’s another one in the grand scheme of things? As an athlete it’s heart breaking news about the Olympics being postponed until 2021, but it’s for all the right reasons and the safety of everyone! Stay indoors”. “Today we are all struggling with a much bigger problem and although August seems far away, the security for such a big event was very difficult. See you in 2021,” Italian track cycling champion Elia Viviani wrote on Twitter.   

Top tennis players roger Federer and Serena Williams devastated and shocked as Wimbledon gets cancelled after 75 years.

Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza also expressed her sadness with a crying emoji over the cancellations of the Gand Slam.

Coronavirus outbreak is surely heartbreak for such athletes and sport lovers but we all must follow the guidelines prescribed by the WHO, this pandemic has caused death to more than 49,000 people all across the globe. The only way to break the chain of this infectious disease is to avoid all kinds of public gathering and adopt complete social distancing. These sacrifices of the great international tournaments are symbols of significant steps against the spread of this pandemic disease.

By: Akshita Singh

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