NEW DELHI: As the coronavirus pandemic keeps wreaking havoc on all the spheres of life, the world of sports and games has come to an unprecedented standstill, Tokyo Olympics being the biggest sporting event to be affected. The 32nd edition of the Olympics has been postponed owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Olympics have a rich history. The Games of the sixth Olympiad were never held in Berlin because of World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1940-1944). The onset of World War II forced the abandonment of the first Tokyo Olympic Games in 1940. In 1964, the first time the Olympic Games were to be held in Asia. They were first to exclude participation by South African athletes because of their anti-apartheid stand.
The first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in Athens in 1896, with just 245 competitors. Women were not allowed to compete. In the Panathenaic stadium, 50,000 spectators watched the 43 events. This heralded a new era in the world of sports. The Tokyo Games 1964 have become known by many names – The Television Games; The Technology Games; or even Science Fiction Games.
In the 1964 Olympics Games, a record 94 nations took part in the Tokyo Games, 16 of them participated in the Olympics for the first time.
The 134th championships will be staged from June 28 to July 11, 2021. The renowned Boston Marathon has been canceled for the first time. The 2021 Boston Marathon will be moved from its conventional time in April till later in the year because of the Covid-19. The renowned annual marathon event was canceled this year for the first time in its 124 years history. It is usually held on the third Monday of April.
The 2020 World Junior Badminton Championships to be held in New Zealand in January 2020, was also canceled amid the uncertainties resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Because of the pandemic, the gigantic league in Europe and the continent’s five best competitions were rescheduled, deferred, and cut short. Both men’s and women’s English Premier League Championships were completed in Europe.
Customary league home and away fixtures were over and done within the favour of a single match, and because of that, the remaining handful of matches became the knock-out fixtures. Liverpool won the men’s championships for the first time since 1990, while Lyon was the women’s championships league for a fantastic record seventh-time. The Champions League (UEFA) group stage at long last underway. The 32 teams’ cutthroat competitions will start one month later than usual. In India, The Hero League Trophy for the year 2019-20 was officially handed over to champion Mohan Bagan on October 18, 2020.
Numerous sports competitions of international and national importance had to be canceled. No doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on every sphere. But the human will has prevailed.
The writer is former Associated Professor at the University of Delhi and a Consultant at the Limca Book of Records