The 2020 Olympics


Because of the pandemic, plans far and wide had to be put on hold, one of those plans being the 2020 Summer Olympics. Competing in the Olympic events is considered by many to be the highest measure of an athlete’s ability, meaning that Olympic athletes center their entire lives around training for the competition. The tradition has been held for 3,000 years, since the very first Olympics in Ancient Greece, and includes athletes from all over the world. It is no surprise, therefore, that the changes to the 2020 Summer Olympics have a big impact on the multitudes of people who closely follow them. 

The Olympics have been moved to next summer, starting in Tokyo on July 23rd, 2021 and ending August 8th, a decision reached because of the unfortunate COVID-19 outbreak that made just about every sport come to a screeching halt this past summer. 

According to the Olympics website, they are hopeful that the pandemic will end by then, because “Our Japanese partners and the Prime Minister made it very clear that Japan could not manage a postponement beyond next summer at the latest. It is a mammoth undertaking, both for the Organising Committee and the country as a whole.”

The Olympics has only been postponed six times in its long recorded history, often in times of war, so that fact is an indication of how seriously this pandemic has affected our world.

The pandemic isn’t the only change that will affect the Olympics. Six new sports have been added to the events calendar including sport climbing, surfing, skateboarding, karate, baseball and softball. 

Sport climbing is divided into three different types: speed climbing, which focuses on time, bouldering, which focuses on problem solving, and lead climbing, which focuses on height. The surfing competitions will occur outside of Tokyo, on Japan’s pacific coast, and will be divided based on the type of board used to surf. Skateboarding will take place in two competitions, park and street, with park being in a classic hollowed-out course with multiple steeply curved surfaces, and street being on a course with a larger variety of surfaces, including stairs and benches. Karate competitions will be either in the style of kata or kumite. Kata can be performed alone against an imaginary opponent, while kumite requires a partner. Baseball and softball were taken off the Olympic program during the Beijing 2008 games and have been absent since, finally returning in Tokyo this coming year. 

The new sports are not the only interesting part of the Tokyo Summer Olympics. The mascot for this year was designed by millions of Japanese students, and gold medals this year will be the most environmentally cautious ever used, with 5,000 medals being made from recycled cell phones.

Despite the fact that the Olympics have been postponed, the extra time only means extra training for the athletes and extra time to prepare for those setting up this stunning sports event, so we can hope to see an amazing result next summer.