Tokyo 2020: Getting from here to there

Published on January 1st, 2021

Since the opening of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, the international sports competition has only been canceled three times: once during World War I (1916) and twice during World War II (1940, 1944).

Until the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, which prompted the first ever postponement for the Olympic Games, the event always persevered through challenges, such as the Moscow 1980 Olympics when a boycott occurred as part of a protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979.

Some 67 eligible nations refrained from participating while other nations left the decision about participation to the athletes themselves.

Although some who forewent the Games managed to maintain their training and participate in the Olympic Games four years later in 1984, others who had trained since Montreal 1976 saw their hopes and dreams of repeating the experience dashed. Still others missed out on what was their only opportunity to go to an edition of the Olympic Games.

When the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed for a year in March 2020, lives were changed. Another year was needed, but all would be well then…right? Here are some recent updates:

• Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has again promised the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this year will be “safe and secure” as he considers initiating a state of emergency in the country to combat rising COVID-19 infection rates. – Full report

• International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has once again underlined the organization’s “determination” to stage the Olympics as planned in Tokyo this year and has claimed that the Olympic Movement has “strengthened the role of sport in society” amid the coronavirus crisis. – Full report

• Tokyo 2020 Athletes’ Village Mayor Saburō Kawabuchi claimed holding this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games with no spectators would be “like cooking a meal with no seasoning”. It is still uncertain whether spectators will be allowed to watch the competition unfold but Kawabuchi revealed he was strongly against holding Tokyo 2020 behind closed doors. – Full report

• Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures have asked the Japanese Government to declare a state of emergency as coronavirus cases escalate in the Olympic and Paralympic host city. Former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe declared a state of emergency in Japan in response to the pandemic on April 7 last year – two weeks after the Olympics and Paralympic were postponed until 2021. It was lifted at the end of May. – Full report

Tokyo Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021


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