Editorial: Should the Olympics Happen?

Pavle Ristic, Sports Editor

By Pavle Ristic

Sports Editor

   When people like something, they want more of it. And when they can’t get enough of something, anticipation is heightened and can take over their lives. The Olympic Games capitalize off of this human behavior beautifully with the four-year cycle, except when they can’t. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a discussion regarding the safety and scheduling of the Olympic Games.

   The modern Olympics (beginning in 1896) have been held every four years throughout the world, only having been cancelled three times. All three times the games were cancelled due to World Wars, once for World War I and twice for World War II, according to the History Channel (history.com). The 2020 Olympic Games were postponed last summer and are planned to start in the Summer of 2021. If they are played, they will be the first Olympics ever to be postponed and played (olympic.org). Still, there is debate over whether the Olympic Games should be held despite the global pandemic. However, thanks to worldwide vaccination efforts and preventative measures, the games should in fact be held as planned.

   As more and more people receive COVID-19 vaccines, the probability of a successful Olympics grows. As fewer people have to worry about the COVID-19 virus, it becomes safer to send athletes across international borders. In addition to the general population, COVAX, the World Health Organisation’s global vaccine-sharing scheme, is working with athletes to prioritize safety ahead of the 2021 Games, according to ESPN (espn.com). With such a huge event hanging in the balance, everyone is hard at work to ensure that everything goes according to plan.

   Officials have protocols in place for athletes to be safe and stop any potential outbreaks. With the athletes completely cut off from interaction with the outside world, officials would be able to keep the public safe in the event that there was an outbreak amongst athletes. Frequent tests and thorough cleaning will also be routine, ensuring the safety of everyone involved, according to The Japan Times (japantimes.co.jp).

   Some people believe that the Olympic Games should not be held at all due to the COVID-19 associated risks. The Times of London even reported that at one time, although never confirmed, the Japanese government decided privately to completely cancel the games. Had the situation ever truly been deemed unsafe, the Olympics would have been cancelled. These kinds of reports are important because they show that safety is in fact a priority among everyone involved. The Japanese government has worked extremely hard to be able to follow through with hosting the Olympics and ensure that it is a safe event.

   Senior Hansen Lee is an avid sports fan and is excited that the Olympics are still on track to happen: “The Olympics are a treat that only come once every four years. With that said, I’m just happy that they are happening at all.”

   After an excruciatingly long year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Olympics occurrence will be a sign of the return to normal life. As cases rates drop and vaccination rates continue to climb, we can only hope that this is the beginning of the end. An event like the Olympics, which only comes around once in four years (or five, in this case), is the perfect way to signal the beginning of the end of an extremely unfortunate circumstance.