Sports fans around the world have been dealt another blow as the decision was made to delay this year’s Olympic games until next summer following the outbreak of COVID-19.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the decision in conjunction with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. However, the games will not be rebranded and will remain known as ‘Tokyo 2020’.
The decision, whilst correct, will affect millions of fans around the world with many having already secured tickets and flights to cheer on their country but what does it mean for the athletes who have meticulously planned their training over the past four years?
I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in mentally & physically and was so excited to see all my hard work pay off… but waiting another year to make sure the world is safe and more lives can be saved is always worth the sacrifice! When the Olympics go ahead, we will be ready! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/dEJn28RF8S— Michael Gunning (@MichaelGunning1) March 26, 2020
Fighting for a place in your countries’ Olympic squad is one of the most gruelling processes an athlete can endure and now hundreds of these athletes will have to mentally prepare themselves for another year of training in a bid to keep their bodies fit and healthy.
Many athletes will also be fearful that the extra year could harm their position in the Olympic team with injuries and age having the potential to disrupt their plans. There is also a real possibility that athletes could be replaced by new talent, although that would seem cruel on those who have worked so hard and sacrificed their lives for four years.
Mentally, we can only imagine how this will affect athletes around the world as for many their training regimes are specific to the time period they have to prepare and now they must maintain their fitness for another year.
For some this may have been their last ever games and now they face a decision as to whether they can endure the process for another year, whilst for others they may not be able to overcome this hurdle at all.
Questions remain over how the decision will affect the logistics of the games with such a delay unheard of since the world wars cancelled the games altogether.
Millions extra will now have to be spent by hosts Japan, with the decision to keep the 2020 branding appearing to be a cost cutting solution and they have now announced the ‘New Launch Task Force’ which will oversee the rescheduling.
COVID-19 continues to disrupt daily life around the globe but we can only hope that normality will be resumed sooner rather than later. It will be an extra year of waiting but perhaps this will make the 2020 games even more special.