Olympic Games are in danger of postponement or cancellation

Sideline Sid
Sports correspondent & historian

With the coronavirus sweeping the globe, the Olympic Games are in danger of postponement or cancellation.

It's not for the first time the biggest international sporting festival in the world may not take place.

The 1916 Olympic Games scheduled for Berlin were cancelled because of WW1.

Following the end of hostilities in 1918, the 1920 Olympics were given to Antwerp to honour the suffering that had been inflicted on the Belgium people during the war.

Although the Olympics presentation was very spartan, the hosts were admired for their noble efforts.

Politics in the Olympic movement were alive and well in the lead-up to the 1920 Antwerp Games, with Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, barred from participation as the aggressor nations of World War One.

The 1940 Olympic Games were awarded to Japan, with the Winter Games allocated to Sapporo and the Summer Olympics to Tokyo.

However, when Japan invaded China in 1937, the Games were reassigned to Helsinki - with the 1940 Games and 1944 Olympics scheduled for London, eventually abandoned because of World War Two.

Just athletics, cycling, fencing, gymnastics and swimming have appeared at every Games since the Modern Olympics were established in 1896.

Since the dawn of the new Millennium, there has been proliferation of new sports introduced, to where 33 sports are scheduled for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Surfing, sport climbing, skate boarding and karate are scheduled to debut in Tokyo.

The Western Bay of Plenty has played a preliminary role in the sport climbing Olympic qualification process.

The imposing speed climbing wall at the Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui hosted New Zealand trials earlier in the year to pick a Kiwi team to compete at the Oceania championships, which will have two Olympic speed climbing spots up for grabs.

The current pause in Olympic preparation is a ideal time to review the Olympic Games juggernaut, which fewer and fewer cities around the world wish to host because of the astronomical costs.

However, over the ditch there is some planning being put forward to host the 2032 Olympics.

Queensland is contemplating an Olympic bid, where Brisbane would be the Games Central hub with the Gold and Sunshine Coasts also playing a prominent role.

However, we need to weather the current corona-virus storm before we go crystal ball gazing on future Olympic venues.


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