The First-Ever Postponed Olympic Games

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Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio

Maddie Del Rio, The Scroll, Wellness Editor

Since the opening of the international sports competition in 1896, the Olympic Games have only been canceled three times, once due to World War I and twice because of World War II. This year is the first year that the Olympic games are postponed. Due to Covid-19, the date for the Olympic Games have been pushed to July 23rd, 2021 to August 8, 2021. Athletes have had to become clever about the way they train for their events due to the pandemic. However, they have not allowed Corona to hinder them from accomplishing their goals and dreams.

Viewers will be thoroughly impressed and entertained by this year’s Olympics as there will be numerous changes and updates to the upcoming games. For example, karate, sport climbing, surfing, and skateboarding, will see their debut in Tokyo. New competitions are being added such as 3×3 basketball, freestyle BMX, and madison cycling. Baseball and softball are returning for the first time since 2008. With new sports and competitions, the upcoming Olympic games may be the most exciting yet!

Famous Olympic athletes are competing for the USA in the 2021 Olympics. These include Katie Ledecky, an American swimmer who has won five Olympic gold medals and fifteen World Championship gold medals, the most in history for a female swimmer. Simone Biles, American gymnast, is also planning on competing in the 2021 Olympics. She is the world’s third most decorated gymnast with a combined total of thirty Olympic and World Championship medals. As very talented, well-known athletes are participating in the upcoming Olympics, viewers can anticipate an exciting competition. 

As the 1964 summer Olympics took place in Tokyo, the 2021 Olympic games will make Tokyo the first Asian city to host the Summer Olympics twice. The games will take place in the Japan National Stadium, and 206 expected nations will compete with 11,091 athletes overall. There will be 339 events, 33 sports, and 50 disciplines. Clearly, viewers can expect an action-packed competition! 

If cases of corona continue to increase, The Tokyo 2021 Olympics may be further postponed, or even canceled. If the Olympic games do take place next summer, audiences may not be permitted. For the first time ever, stadiums could be empty. Athletes might compete without cheers, boos, and the excitement of the crowds. These unfortunate possibilities are difficult for athletes to accept, and disappointing to viewers. However, athletes are refusing to allow these potential outcomes to cause them to lose hope. No matter how the Olympics pan out, athletes are making certain they are ready and prepared to compete.

Covid-19 has brought challenges to the way athletes train for the upcoming games.  According to Team USA Youtube, synchronized swimmers have practiced over Zoom, professional athletes are lifting weights in local parks, and gymnasts are practicing in their living rooms. Porches and backyards have been transformed into weight rooms and gyms. Though corona has clearly complicated the training of athletes, they have not allowed the pandemic to stop them from accomplishing their dreams. Athletes are still improving and working endlessly to meet their daily goals and will be prepared to blow viewers’ minds in the 2021 Olympics. 

In a video from Team USA’s youtube, skateboarder Heimana Reynolds emphasized a positive outlook on the pandemic, claiming that, “Anything can happen in the world – things get canceled, things get changed, and things get thrown at you. But it’s how you react that matters. Am I just going to give up, lay in bed, and say skateboarding is never going to happen in the Olympics? It’s done? No. I’m going to continue waking up at six every morning. I’m going to work my butt off, I’m going to train. I’m going to eat healthy still, I’m going to work out, never giving up because it’s still my goal. Even if the Olympics is pushed back one more year, it’s still my goal to be there.” Ashleigh Johnson, team USA swimmer stated insightfully that she has furthered her love for sports due to the pandemic and have found the fun in swimming again, rather than the stressful competing. Carissa Moore claimed that,  “This pandemic has actually taught me a lot… how to be adaptable, how to go with the flow, embracing uncertainty.” 

In essence, Corona has postponed the Summer Olympic games and has complicated the way athletes train. However, athletes are not allowing the pandemic to hinder them from fulfilling their dreams, and with new sports and competitions, and well-known athletes, the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games may be the most exciting yet.