Will coronavirus be the final death knell for the Olympics?
According to a World Health Organization conference, the Tokyo Games, planned for this June, have no backup plan should the coronavirus pandemic challenge its ability to host the 2020 Olympics. That means either a scramble for a different location — perhaps Rio, where the 2016 Games were held — or calling them off.
The Rio option seems unlikely as that city was plagued with so much corruption around the games, literally leading to its president being incarcerated. The latter would cost who knows how many last-minute billions, if it were even possible. And that — financial catastrophe — might be the death knell.
Personally, I started to lose interest in the Olympics when it stopped being an amateur competition. This was around the time of the “Dream Team,” and I thought to myself: If I want to see all of the NBA’s best players, I’ll watch the NBA All-Star Game.
It’s hard to imagine that anything will finally wake the world up to the sham the Olympics have become.
The hostage-taking and massacre of 11 innocent Israeli athletes in Munich didn’t do it.
The years of sexual abuse of untold innocent young athletes hasn’t done it.
The doping scandals, including in some countries forcing pubescent athletes to alter their hormones, hasn’t done it.
The ravaging of the environment hasn’t done it.
The building of unsustainable, unnecessary massive infrastructure hasn’t done it.
The money pit it has created for host cities hasn’t done it.
I cannot discount the pride athletes feel competing on this stage. But does that outweigh the costs?
Will the coronavirus succeed where all others have failed? I’m not holding my breath.
Shana Goldberg may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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