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Will Tokyo Olympics be canceled due to virus pandemic?

Posted March. 21, 2020 07:43,   

Updated March. 21, 2020 07:43


If the 2020 Olympics Summer Games in Tokyo get canceled, it will be the fourth Summer Olympics to be canceled since the first Olympic Games that were held in Athens, Greece in 1896.

Among Summer Olympics, the events in 1916 (Berlin), 1940 (Tokyo) and 1944 (London) have been canceled. When the Winter Olympics are included, five Olympic events have been canceled thus far, including those planned in 1940 (Sapporo) and 1944 (Cortina d'Ampezzo).

The cancellation of all these Olympics was due to wars. Japan had tried to host both the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics in 1940 to no vail. Berlin was picked as the host city at the general meeting of the International Olympic Committee in 1912, but it was cancelled in the wake of the First World War in 1914. Berlin was able to host the Olympics in 1936, some 20 years later.

Thanks to its successful Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, Japan was able to show off its economic revival to the world. However, it has become difficult for the host city to properly hold this year's Olympic Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the global athletic festival get canceled due to the virus outbreak, it will be the first Olympiad to be canceled due to epidemics. It is paradoxical that the “festival of global citizens pursuing a sound body in sound mind” is poised to be cancelled due to disease.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com