Reviews

Postponement of the Olympic Games and the effect on athletes

By Ahmet Abdulaziz  ….

The Olympic Games are a unique sports event, allowing hundreds and thousands of athletes world over to be able to compete. Once in four years, the Olympic Games, ever since its inception in 1896, has remained a focal point of interest of all athletes.

The year 2020 was the year of the Olympics. Tokyo was going to host the 2020 Olympic Games from 24th July until 9th August, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the event is now scheduled to start on  23rd July until 8th August 2021.

The postponement of the Olympics is a reality, since there was no other option. The organisers, financiers and all others who had been working hard and investing huge amounts in this organisation are bound to suffer loss, yet they still see chances of making their losses good in 2021.

However apart from all this, which I understand, what does the loss of one whole year mean to athletes.

Athletes do not come into limelight all of a sudden. It takes years and years of hard work for an athlete to rise to the required standard. Every athlete who we see standing at the starting line of a race or any sort of competition in the Olympics, usually have given their everything to reach that goal.

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The training of an athlete usually starts at a very young age. The coaches teach the rules of the game, and put him/her through a very strict discipline, for a long period of time. The celebrated athletes, that we usually see, do not have much time for themselves or their families and friends during their career. Their lives usually remain restricted to their home and the track. They cannot eat what they like. They have to go through a strict programme of food intake. Leading a life with all these strict disciplines is not easy.

It is just personal devotion of each and every athlete, that makes him/her accept all of this. At the same time it is also not easy for almost all of them to maintain the high quality of their performance all the time. Their performances pass through ups and downs, due to various reasons. They pass through emotional impacts, which affects their performance in the field.

The part that a coach plays in the life of an athlete is also very important. The coach is the person who plans and executes daily routines of the athlete with a long term ultimate goal in mind. The coach thus charts out a long term plan, keeping in view one or more particular events in mind. He executes the plan in such a way that the athlete would reach the topmost performance stage on one particular date in one particular sports event.

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With all this background, it is not difficult to understand the extent to which the athlete’s the world over would find themselves affected, due to postponement of the Olympics. They have been training hard for this particular event. They are still training, but obviously all of their earlier plans now need to be altered.

However, the most important point is that there would be many upcoming athletes for whom this postponement has come as a blessing in disguise. They now have got sufficient time to train harder, to reach their peak by July 2021. But the other side of the story is also important. There must be many athletes who will find it difficult to maintain their peak which they have reached in the year 2020. Most of these would make way for new entrants and upcoming young athletes in the Olympic Games 2021.

Thus, the results of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 will be much different from what they would have been in the year 2020.