Olympics 2020 still set to take place – for nowThe Social Media Company
Criticism has been rife, following the International Olympic Committee’s announcement that the 2020 Olympic Games would still take place from 24 July to 9 August this year. In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has seen escalations in the amount of confirmed cases of late, the sporting body is being accused of unnecessarily putting athletes at risk by still encouraging them to prepare the way they normally would for an event of this magnitude.
On 19 March, the IOC said that the event would still be taking place, and that no “drastic decisions” would be made at this stage, although measures would be put in place to ensure the “safety and interests of athletes, coaches and support teams”.
With social distancing being encouraged to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, athletes have voiced their concern about the IOC’s advice that they continue preparing as planned.
Greek Olympic pole vault champion, Katerina Stefanidi, was one of the many athletes who took to social media to air their view, tweeting, “This is not about how things will be in 4 months. This is about how things are now. The IOC wants us to keep risking our health, our family’s health and public health to train every day? You are putting us in danger right now, today, not in 4 months.”
Decorated Olympian and former Canadian ice hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser also expressed her worry about what she called the “insensitive” and “irresponsible” decision by the IOC.
I’ve given this a lot of thought, and over the past few days my perspective has changed. I was voted to represent and protect athletes. As an IOCAC member, 6x Olympian and Medical doctor in training on the front lines in ER up until this week,these are my thoughts on @Olympics : pic.twitter.com/vrvfsQZ1GO
— Hayley Wickenheiser (@wick_22) March 17, 2020
Throughout its history, the Olympic Games have only been cancelled in the face of world war. The scheduled 1916 Summer Olympics didn’t take place due to World War I, and the 1940 and 1944 Summer and Winter Olympic Games were cancelled due to World War II.