2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics postponed to 2021

By Seoyoung Hwang

People all over the world gather every four years for the summer Olympics. However, the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics has been postponed until 2021 for the first time in history due to COVID-19, according to the official Olympics website.

Initially, this news brought sports fans disappointment but most have come to a consensus that it is the best decision for the safety of the public.

“It’s definitely a big bummer,” physical education teacher Sara Frausto said in an email. “I feel for the athletes that have worked their whole lives for the chance to compete at the Olympics.”

Infographic by Seoyoung Hwang
The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics has been postponed to 2021, leading to different circumstances, impacting different people and industries.

However, Frausto said she agrees that postponing the Olympics is the best option due to the current circumstances.

“For most, I’m sure it is just devastating but I do think it is the right thing to do,” Frausto said.  “Everyone’s health and safety are the most important thing to keep in mind when making these difficult decisions.”

According to the International Olympic Committee, the athlete programs that support Olympic athletes with their activities and hand out scholarships including Olympic Scholarships for Athletes Tokyo 2020, Team Support Grants and Refugee Athlete Support   are now extended into 2021 to support the athletes. 

In addition, the qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics will remain in the games. However, the new qualification deadline for other athletes who have not yet applied will be extended to June 29, 2021, according to the IOC

“It’s a bit rough [for the athletes now that the Olympics are postponed],” junior Maggie Le said in an email. “I hope they’re going to continue training in a safe manner.”

The cancelation of the Olympics has also brought different financial issues. According to the IOC, the tickets that were already purchased will be valid for a new date, but the organization is not responsible for compensating for other fees such as flights or hotels.

“Nearly all family visitors with several nights (of reservations) canceled their bookings in March and quite a few for April too,” Kanako Takahashi, manager of Hotel Toka said in an article in the Nikkei Asian Review. “We have run this hotel for more than 20 years. We need to make it through this challenge.”

The IOC and Tokyo are also working to make sure that postponing the Olympics won’t have a detrimental impact on the athletes, Olympic committees, or the spectators, according to the IOC. 

The Here We Go Task Force, an official IOC task force, works with different sports federations around the world to look at the situation and find solutions to the problems. The IOC is also updating the official Olympics website regularly to answer the public’s questions.

“I’m hoping that all the athletes will keep training and [I] look forward to when it will eventually happen,” freshman Cassidy Morrison said in an email. “[I will make sure to watch the Olympics next year] to support everyone who’s worked hard.”

The Olympics is not the only sporting event postponed as a result of COVID-19. All HHS sporting events have been canceled, as well, manifesting disappointment in many sports players. 

“For HHS Swimming, we were told that all meets and leagues were postponed, but after that information, the school closed down,” Le said. “[It was] really disappointing on our hand since meets are places [where] we can see our buddies from another school and show our hard work at practice come to play in a race.”

Frausto also said the HHS dance team was not able to attend their nationals competition. 

“It’s our culminating event [and] what we work all year for,” Frausto said. “Besides overcoming the realization and devastation that you won’t get the opportunity that you have been working for, it’s tough to keep up the momentum in your training. You can continue to work on your own with the hope of getting another chance, but it’s hard when you don’t know for sure when that chance will come.”

The hope for many athletes is that they will be able to go back to their normal life and continue with their hobbies soon and the Olympics will be hosted next year without any troubles. 

“I think the situation and difficulties that Olympic athletes, coaches and everyone else involved [is] going through are no different than what everyone is going through in some way,” Frausto said. “ My hope is that the passion for whatever it may be that an individual has continues to motivate [them] so that they can get back to what they love as soon as we are able to.”

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