Olympic Dreams Also Put on Pause
March 29, 2020
For the graduating class of 2020, this year was supposed to be the greatest of our high school career. We were going to go to Senior Prom, play in the final seasons of our sports, and finally be able to celebrate our 12 years of stress and hard work by walking across the stage and getting our diplomas. But over the past few months, all of our plans have become flipped upside down. First, we had the overwhelming threats of World War 3 (the threats were blown out of proportion on social media, as most things typically are, but no actual violence or fighting actually occurred). Then, we had the shocking death of Kobe Bryant which took the world by storm. And most recently, a global pandemic that has essentially “shut the world down.”
But it’s not just our school year that got affected by this virus. Some significant results of this pandemic include travel being drastically cut down, all professional sports being cancelled or postponed, and the economy becoming increasingly unstable. But one of the most recent international changes to occur is the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo being postponed a year. There had been talk about how they would handle this situation, considering the virus itself first appeared in East Asia and is still there, but on Monday, March 23 a member of the International Olympic Committee told USA Today that the games would most likely be delayed until 2021 (according to the news website Vox).
This whole pandemic situation is new to everyone and since no one really knows how to handle it, everything feels awkward and strange right now. But the icing on the cake of this crazy time seems to be the Summer Olympics getting postponed. This is because the Olympics have been going on since 1896, over a century of men and women competing against each other in a huge variety of sporting events. In the very first modern Olympics, 241 male athletes, no females, coming from just 14 countries competed in 43 events including cycling, swimming, gymnastics, and much more. And in the most recent modern Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016, 11,238 athletes of both genders represented 207 nations and competed in 306 events including skateboarding, equestrian events, karate, and much more. It is a huge part of our international culture as a whole and is one of the most unifying events in world history, bringing together hundreds of nations no matter their relationships with each other.
Over these past few days, athletes’ reactions to the news have been flooding social media. For example, a popular French judoka named Teddy Riner recently posted a picture of himself on Instagram from a former Olympic Games with the caption, “Tokyo, see you in 2021. We have a bigger fight to win before. See you in 2021, Tokyo. First, we have a more important fight to win.” Another example is that British diver, Tom Daley, also posted a photo on Instagram with the caption,”Waiting one more year to reach for our dreams is well worth the sacrifice to help keep people safe. Yes, I’ll be another year older, and my body will feel that, but I promise to work my tail off to make TeamGB as proud as I can when the time comes!”.
It is obvious to see that even in these trying times full of stress, an unsettling feeling of unfamiliarity, and the occasional sense of despair, at least a majority of the population is trying its best to flatten the curve without giving up hope and optimism for the future.