The postponement of the 2020 Olympic games have caused havoc for athletes around the world, yet no one seems to be talking about it.
The opening ceremony of the games was scheduled for July 24, in Tokyo’s national stadium but postponement was announced on the 24th of March for 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak. The postponement of the games is very unusual and has only ever been cancelled in 1916,1940 and again in 1944 due to world wars. Of course, the announcement was very emotional for athletes and coaches alike since it meant another intense year as well as the added uncertainty of the pandemic.
The Olympics is one of the biggest sporting events that happen once every 4 years, with thousands of competing athletes and even more fans from all around the world, this would have been a make or break year for many of the athletes. Athletes spent all of 2019 preparing their mental and physical health for the games but with the uncertainty of COVID-19, training at their very best has become a challenge.
The issue for many of these athletes is that they will now need to continue training for a whole extra year, and if you think about the mental and physical strain with the pressure not to get sick or make others sick, is an incredibly challenging task. The majority of these athletes are regular joes and have work, school, and life to attend too which, in turn, means their athletic careers will have to be on hold and meant retirement for some.
The double Olympic medallist Tom Ransley announced his retirement from the British rowing team following the news about the postponement of the games. Since the end of 2020 is near, more talks about actual dates are in the rounds but nothing is set or stable as yet which makes life even harder for athletes to set training goals before the games.
The bottom line is that these athletes still need to put food on their table and provide for their families. Putting the games on hold was of course a necessary adjustment but where does it leave the athletes. All we know is that they have a tough decision to make, as many have already dropped out. Is another year and uncertainty worth the wait? Only time will tell.