Opinion

It’s time to cancel the Olympics in 2021

The Olympics is the largest sports event in the world, but for most people, it means much more. The Olympics is a way the whole world can connect through the joy of sports, where different cultures, nationalities, and lifestyles are broadcasted throughout. Every four years, it is continuously one of the most celebrated and hyped-up experiences in the world.

With the start of a new decade, many were very excited to celebrate it, but COVID-19 forced the them to cancel the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Alas, there was a beam of hope when the Olympic association said that they were planning to hold the Olympics in 2021.

Amid rumors that they may cancel the sporting event again, the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo Olympic organizers remain positive and focused on hosting. Although the organizers and leaders are remaining positive, I, unfortunately, will not. This year’s Olympics should be canceled, and they should move on to organizing and preparing for the next event, the Winter Olympics in 2022. Now, I might sound like a pessimist, but as we have learned repeatedly, it is not wise to challenge COVID-19.

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Olympic Rings at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia.

Here are my reasons for why I say this:

  1. COVID-19 Complications
  2. Japan’s Financial Concerns

1: COVID-19 Complications

With such a deadly and contagious virus on the loose, it is very unsafe to bring large groups of people from nearly every country to all compete in Tokyo. It would immediately become a hotspot for the COVID-19. In addition, it will be far too difficult to be able to safely hold so many different events filled with tons of people. If you have been paying attention to the NBA or NFL, players are testing positive for COVID-19 every day, and it seems like games are being postponed left and right. Now, imagine the extreme effects COVID-19 can have when the Olympics has 7 times the number of athletes of the NBA and NFL combined. It is a certain recipe for disaster.

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Woman outside of the Tokyo Olympic Center

2: Japan’s Financial Concerns

You may think the possibility of spread can be alleviated by taking copious safety measures. However, this is nearly impossible for the IOC and Tokyo Olympic organizers to pull this off safely. Japan is already spiraling in debt – as of July 2020, Japan had about $12 trillion in debt, which is 236% greater than its GDP. There just isn’t enough money to implement safe enough counter-measures for the Olympics.

So Is there any compromise?

The Japanese Prime Minister stated that the Olympics will be proof that humans have defeated  COVID-19. However,  it is the opposite. The Olympics will be another event where COVID-19 will win against unless there are enough safety measures in place to protect the athletes and spectators. With over 17,000 athletes from 193 countries and with limited financial resources, full safety is not possible at the Olympics. There is no compromise that can happen without risking the health of the athletes and their families. If we are putting our best interests in mind, the world will have to skip the Summer Olympics this year.

TL;DR

  1. Tokyo organizers and the International Olympic Committee are focused on holding the 2021 Olympics amid COVID-19 fears.
  2. Holding the Olympics during COVID-19 is a terrible idea because it will be impossible to hold safely due to financial and practical reasons.
  3. There is no compromise to the Olympics this year; we will have to persevere through it like many other cherished events during this COVID-19 era.

Sources

https://www.reuters.com/article/olympics-2020/update-7-japan-and-ioc-deny-that-olympics-will-be-cancelled-idUSL1N2JW34O

https://www.axios.com/tokyo-2021-olympics-coronavirus-b8180b4b-98e7-4e37-a81d-0212538cb273.html

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/olympics-unlikely-to-happen-this-year-ex-team-usa-official-says-1.1408997

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