Sports are competitions held among individuals and teams in an effort to entertain spectators. People are extremely passionate about the games and look forward to the performances of athletes, especially those from their home countries. Fans enjoy these performances, the skills of these athletes are highlighted, and their determination to achieve success speaks volumes. With the pandemic still a major issue around the world, the 2020 Summer Olympics will, more than likely be held. But, should the Games go on when Japan still has a lot of Covid cases?

The Olympics should have taken place in the summer of 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, it was postponed to this year, While the pandemic has gotten better in some countries because of the number of people being vaccinated, others like Japan and India are struggling. Cases are high in both countries, especially in India. Yet, the IOC still wants to hold the event. Despite the effectiveness of vaccines, there would still be restrictions which will impact the athletes.

With the exception of the athletes from other countries, there will not be any foreign fans in attendance. The fewer people in attendance will reduce the likelihood of spread. If fewer people cross the borders, the opportunity of infection will hopefully be reduced. The separation of athletes from families and friends could also create mental health issues. When the NBA was in the Orlando “bubble,� players talked about the same thing. So did the NHL players who were in the Toronto and Edmonton “bubbles� in the summer of 2020. If the Games occur, athletes will be required to go through regular Covid testing, and abide by the rules of mask wearing and social distancing. I am sure most will obey the rules. Athletes are also used to structure – working out at a certain time, training at a gym and training with their teammates. During the pandemic, they have had to develop other ways to train – including home gyms and Zoom sessions with teammates and coaches.

Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC is insisting that the Games will go on as scheduled, despite rising cases, a state of emergency in Tokyo, and the local media stating the games should be put on hold another year. I agree that it should be cancelled. But I am sure that Bach is thinking about the financial aspect, and its impact if the Games are cancelled. But, look what happened in the IPL (cricket). They began the games and within weeks it was shut down because of rising covid cases in India. And, I fear the same will take place if the Olympics are held.

Some athletes are probably uncomfortable attending because of the worldwide pandemic. Postponing the games until next year will hopefully allow for International borders to open, for people to feel relatively comfortable travelling, and for more fans to attend all the Games. Look at what is currently transpiring in both the NHL and NBA playoffs in the United States. There are fans attending the games – some arenas are seating patrons in the thousands. It feels right and normal hearing fans chant and celebrate a team ’s victory. It also feels right hearing fans boo a referee ’s call against the home team. The governing body of European soccer, UEFA, held off on EURO 2020 last year because of the pandemic. This year, the European soccer tournament is taking place between June 11- July 11 in different parts of Europe and best of all, fans will be present. So, if the Summer Olympics are postponed another year, things will be a little more normal. But, the only way that can happen is if people get vaccinated. So, please do so – you will help yourself as well as others.

Sometimes in life, we have to put our beliefs on the backburner. We must look at the entire picture before making a decision. Every country is suffering economically. A decision to carry on with the Olympics could cause further economic hardships and maybe even loss of lives. Put the athletes before ego, and do what most people think is right. Another year without the Summer Olympics will not hurt.

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