It’s probably no surprise that COVID-19 has cast doubts over 2021’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games. We’re all aware of the pandemic’s long term effecys and how we may have to endure the throes of a coronavirus hangover in to next year and possibly beyond.
Across large parts of the globe infection rates remain high, not least the USA, which is one of the biggest contributors to the Olympics. Reports are currently circulating regarding Olympic go ahead questions and how Tokyo can get back on track. Popular opinion suggests enthusiasm for the Games, especially in Japan, has waned. With the country shuttering its borders to much of the world there seems little want for the Games to return – especially if that means an influx of competitors and spectators who may carry the virus.
Surfing was due to make its Olympic debut in Tokyo and, of course, windsurfing was already on the bill. Then there are the other disciplines where athletes dedicate their lives, putting everything else on hold, to train and make ready to be in the best shape possible with hopes of taking home a medal. This won’t be happening this year and possibly may not happen next either.
Unfortunately age isn’t on an athlete’s side and with the Games taking place every four years some competitors may not get the chance to test their mettle on one of sport’s biggest stages.
From a surfing and windsurfing point of view does the layman actually care? Probably not has been the most common answer when each discipline’s fraternity have been poled. Olympic disciplines, particularly with freesports in mind, aren’t representative of what actually happens on the ground with every day riders in the mix. Track and field events are slightly different which can be seen in terms of viewing figures and such.
Yet for the athletes themselves there’s no lack of preparation and desire to win, whatever sport’s in question. Only time will tell if Tokyo 2021 does go ahead or not.