Could the Coronavirus Postpone the Olympic Games?

Tom Deyesso, Student Writer

The Olympic Games is the single most viewed sporting event in the world, bringing together athletes from all different countries to compete in numerous sports that show off their skill. The Olympic Games date back to April 6, 1896, in Athens, Greece. The Olympic Games have been held in numerous countries, like Australia, England, and Spain. This summer the 32nd Olympic Games will be taking place in Tokyo Japan, known to people as the Tokyo 2020. Athletes trained in soccer and basketball to track & field have been waiting their entire lives to compete in the games and their time has finally come to showcase their talents on the biggest stage. However, their lifelong dream of competing in the Olympic Games could be brought to a halt, with the spread of the coronavirus. The coronavirus started in Wuhan, China and has been spreading rapidly throughout the world. Since late last year, the virus has infected over 92,000 people and killed over 3,000.

The Olympic Games are scheduled to take place from July 24th to August 9th. Tokyo and the International Olympic Committee have a contract stating that the Olympic Games are to be held in Tokyo within the year 2020, no matter what. They may have to postpone the Olympics to later this year, though. Christine Foote-McCool, working 21 years as project coordinator at Merck Pharmaceutical Company, gave some insight that she obtained from her job at Merck. When asked, “What has Merck been doing with regards to the Coronavirus?” Christine responded by saying, “Merck has been educating and keeping the employees up to date on the virus and prevention.” She expressed her opinion about how the Olympic Games could possibly be postponed or canceled saying, “A lot of major events have been closed. It wouldn’t surprise me, but I don’t remember the last time the Olympics was canceled.” The last time the Olympic Games were canceled was due to WWI and WWII during 1916 and 1940-1944. Casey McCool, a supervisor at St. Luke’s Hospital Anderson Campus gave some of his opinions on the current situation pertaining to the Olympic Games and the coronavirus. When asked, “What has St. Luke’s been doing with regards to the Coronavirus?” Casy responded by saying, “being educated on the virus, extra sanitation, screening people, having masks and gloves more readily available.” Most hospitals around the world are being a lot more cautious when it comes to sanitation and wearing masks and gloves. When asked if he thinks the Olympic Games will be canceled, he responded by saying, “It would be surprising considering how big the Olympics are, but other major events have been canceled so who knows.” 

All the different situations involving the Olympic Games are being talked about by the news, doctors, and citizens of countries all across the world. The least logical option would be to move the games because if Tokyo isn’t safe enough, then there aren’t any places that are suitable to hold the games. Most of Europe is affected and the virus continues to grow stronger as it moves from country to country. What seems to be the most likely scenario would be to have the games in Tokyo and the athletes basically get to choose if they want to compete or not after carefully considering the circumstances of the virus.