Canceling the Olympics was the right call

The last time the Olympic games were canceled was during World War II, for the 1940 and 1944 games. Even after a bomb went off during a concert at the 1996 Olympics killing two people, the president of the organizing committee said, “The spirit of the Olympic movement mandates that we continue,” according to

This year the summer games were supposed to take place this year in Tokyo, but like so many other large events, they have been postponed until the summer of 2021. Athletes who have been training for their opportunity to compete in the life changing games have been told they will have to wait another year. While overall the reactions of the athletes have been positive, many are disappointed.

Mountain biker Katie Courtney wrote on Twitter, “Our time will come. These dreams aren’t canceled, they are just on hold for a moment. Hope and heartbreak can live side by side.”

It is obvious why the games have been postponed. People from all over the world travel to watch the Olympics, and pack into crowded stadiums to watch the different events. Especially with all the hugging and high fives in celebration, diseases like the much feared Covid-19 would thrive.

Those facts don’t make it any less heartbreaking. As a child, I dreamed of one day competing and even as I realized that was highly improbable, I still love watching the divers and swimmers and runners who were so good at what they do. The Olympics have always been a chance for the best of the best to show the world what they can do.

Even when political tensions are running high, the Olympics have been a friendly competition that everyone in the world can unite over. Unfortunately, the world now has something else to bond over that isn’t so nice.

We can’t argue that the games should continue, there is just too much of a risk to the athletes and spectators, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.

As distance runner Karissa Schweizer said on Twitter, “Nevertheless, the Olympics brings the world together and even if that doesn’t happen this year, I have hope that when it does happen, it will just make it all even more special.”