2020 Summer Olympics Postponed for the First Time in History


The Olympics have been pushed back to 2021. What does that mean for the future of the Games? (Photo By: Charly Triballeau / AFP via Getty Images)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the Tokyo Summer Olympics has been pushed back to the summer of 2021. The Games have been canceled in the past, such as in 1916, 1940, and 1944, but 2020 marks the historic year of the first time the games have been postponed since its creation in 1863.

Despite the closing of other large sporting events, Japan originally declined to decide on the matter, stating that they would “wait and see how it all played out.” Many people disagreed with that decision, bringing attention to the fact that it was “unsafe,” calling the lack of action “tone-deaf.” However, Japan finally came to the decision on March 24 that the games would be moved back a year, which causes a few problems of its own.

Despite the games being pushed back to 2021, they will still be called the “2020 Summer Olympics” due to the marketing and publication of this event. The move will not affect future games, and the 2024 Summer Olympics should take place as planned. The athletes who qualified for the Olympics will still be able to keep their spots, but the question they must ask is whether or not to proceed with competing. The athletes’ schedules have been thrown off dramatically, and they must reach peak physical condition in a year instead of in a few months. The quarantine interferes with many of the athletes’  ability to stay strong and fit, and many have jobs that they must maintain as well. As a result, the athletes must decide on whether or not competing in 2021 will be worth the struggle.

What does the future look like for the Summer Olympics? The 2020/2021 Summer Olympics will start on July 23, 2021 and end on August 8. Anyone who already purchased tickets to the games will still be able to attend in 2021 with no extra charge. Tickets are still available to be purchased as well. If someone is unable to attend but they already bought a ticket, as of now Japan is taking refunds.

The Olympics has been a major connecting point between the countries of the world for many years and will continue for many years to come. Postponing the Olympics was not a symbol of its collapse but rather a stance of strength to preserve and protect everyone the best they can.