[Opinion] Let us have the Summer Olympics


Hannah Kang

The Summer Olympic games will be held in Tokyo, Japan starting on July 23. The 2020 games were postponed due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Graphic by Hannah Kang

Of all the devastating effects that resulted from the worldwide spread of COVID-19 in 2020, one of the most substantial was the cancellation of the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Along with most other professional, collegiate and high school sports, athletes training for the 2020 Olympics were sidelined. Due to the pandemic and all the uncertainty surrounding its relevance to sporting event cancelations, the Olympic Committee decided to postpone the summer games until summer 2021.

While this was a disappointment for the athletes involved, one unexpected benefit was an extra year to train and prepare for the 2021 games. Many have questioned whether the Olympics should be held this Summer and have also questioned the safety of the games due to international travel and conflicting guidelines across various countries.

Despite health concerns that have now been alleviated with mass production of vaccinations worldwide, the Summer Olympics should be held this year because they will give viewers something to look forward to while rooting for their home athletes after a year of isolation and anticipation.

The tradition of the Summer Olympics dates back to April 6, 1896 where it was held in Athens, Greece. Since then, the Olympic games have only been cancelled three times–once in 1916, due to World War I, and then again in 1940 and 1944 due to World War II. The Olympics take place every four years and showcase 33 different athletic events such as badminton, archery, cycling, fencing, track and field, basketball, water polo and tennis.

The games give athletes around the world the opportunity to compete against the best of the best athletes across the globe. Individuals, as well as teams, dedicate their entire lives for this every four-year occurrence. The cancelation of these highly-valued events would cause soul crushing disappointment worldwide.

The COVID-19 vaccine administration has been underway since the end of 2020. In the United States, over 25 percent of the population is already fully vaccinated and half of adults in the US have received one dose. The vaccine is now available to anyone 16 and older in America.

Other countries across the globe have been administering the vaccine as well; more than 928 million doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide. Athletes from around the world should be given the option of getting the vaccine before the Summer games to decrease the chance of a super spreader event.

As of right now, the Summer Olympics will take place Friday, July 23 through Sunday, Aug. 8. The Olympic torch relay already began its four-month journey in March; it’s flame represents hope and excitement as we embark on the path to the Summer games. Audiences worldwide will tune in to watch the events, giving people a break from their normal pandemic binge-watching on Netflix.

Over 3 billion people worldwide tuned in to watch the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. After a rough year, people will be even more inspired to root for their countries as they participate in their favorite sports.

Some people may believe that the Olympics aren’t necessary now; however, they could bring some much-needed entertainment and enjoyment during these difficult and tough times.