The Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the lives of people around the world. As of April 8, there have been 1,499,494 cases worldwide and 422,369 cases in the United States according to worldometers.com.
The mortality rate is not more than the recovery rate but it is still at a steep 22% with 87, 819 deaths worldwide.
COVID 19’s impact on sports
This pandemic has affected the sports world tremendously. The NBA, MLB, NHL and NHL seasons are all put on hold. The NCAA canceled all remaining spring and winter championships, including the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Not to mention , marquee events such as The Masters, the Boston and London Marathons and the Scripps Spelling Bee have all been postponed to later dates.
For the first time ever, the Summer Olympics will be postponed for reasons other than war. In 1916, 1940 and 1944, the Games were canceled because of the world wars. The 2020 opening ceremony had been planned for July 24 but due to the health pandemic, they will be held in the summer of 2021.
Canada was the first country to say it would not send representatives to the Olympics without a delay in mid-March. Germany, Poland, and Australia later joined in that decision.
“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said.
U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte admitted to being a little annoyed, given the training he has put in.
“This Olympics was going to be the most important Olympics of my career because of everything that’s happened in my past,” Lochte told the LA Times.
“But this whole thing is way bigger than me. It’s way bigger than the Olympians. It’s affecting the entire world right now. Our main thing is staying safe and healthy.”
In addition to the impact on the athletes, this decision will also take a financial toll. The organizers of Tokyo 2020 estimated the cost to be roughly $12.6 billion, and that’s without the billions spent by sponsors and broadcasters.
Scheduling conflicts also comes to mind. Scheduling conflicts with Japan National Stadium could have events in 2021 that would now have to be moved because of the Olympics.
Will some Olympians pull out of these postponed Olympics because of possible injury or planned retirement? Will this affect the 2024 Olympics as far as how countries qualify with sports such as through the FIBA and FIFA tournaments?
These are a couple of many questions ahead.