Monday, 30 March, 2020
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EDITORIAL

Shadow Of Covid-19 On Olympics 2020



The dreaded COVID-19 has hit the world hard. The virus has almost brought the world to its knees. A large section of humanity has been forced to stay indoors. The virus having a characteristic of multiplying in a geometric way, has been wreaking havoc across the globe including the developed nations, and owing to such threats from the dreaded virus, international travel has now come to a standstill. Many nations have stopped their domestic and international flights and public transports. They have also closed their borders so as to stop the foreigners suspected of carrying the virus from entering to their countries.

With the suspension of international flights and closures of international borders, the world has witnessed many internationals events, including major international sports events and meets, being either postponed for later dates or cancelled. The contagious nature of COVID-19 has made any large gathering of people a threat. As such the virus has made 32nd Olympics to be held in Japan this year one of its major victim. Following the mounting pressure, the Japanese authority and International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided the other day to postpone Olympics 2020, to be held in June this year. If everything goes as planned, Tokyo Olympics 2020 will be held in 2021, making it the first Olympics to be held in fifth year from the one held previously in 2016. The organisers have not yet divulged the actual date of organisation.

Given widespread trepidation of coronavirus, the world, especially the sporting world that included players, officials, coaches and volunteers scheduled to take part in the Tokyo Olympics, have heaved a sigh of relief, albeit with a tinge of sadness. The players set to take part in the world's quadrennial sports extravaganza have trained hard but will need to wait for one more year. However, they do not have to train under the dreadful condition caused by the spike in coronavirus cases. The organisers - the IOC and the Japanese Olympic Committee - too, has been spared of difficulty of holding such massive sporting events at a more trying time when the virus fear has reigned supreme across the globe. Actually, the fate of Olympics 2020 where about 11,000 athletes and 90,000 volunteers were to take part had appeared uncertain after two major participants, Canada and Australia, declared that they would pull out of Olympics due to virus fear.

There is no doubt the re-arrangement of Olympics in 2021 will incur more expenses to the host, Japan, who has already spent about a whopping US $ 12 billion for the Olympic hosting. However, with the rise in COVID-19 fear, the host has no option but to postpone the event. Had it decided to hold the major meet despite the fear, the Olympics 2020 might have turned into a fiasco, for many of the participating nations, now battling the virus, might have opted out of it. Even those who decided to join the Games would be participating in utter fear. Ditto would be the case with spectators. The decision to postpone the multidisciplinary global sports events has indeed come as a blessing in disguise for all- the organisers, players, officials coaches and volunteers, who have now got more time to tide over the fear before preparing them to be the part of Olympics in 2021. 

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