Postponing games was right move

Published 8:37 am Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Historically, it takes a war to postpone or cancel the modern Olympic Games.

Since 1896, there have been three cancellations — the 1916 Berlin games (World War I); and the 1940 and 1944 games (World War II) in Japan, then Helsinki, Finland, and, for the latter games, London and Italy. That’s a pretty high standard.

(…) The announcement by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he and the International Olympic Committee came to an agreement to postpone the summer games to the summer of 2021 at the latest came as no big surprise under the circumstances. But it should serve as a reminder that the coronavirus outbreak will not be over in a matter of days or even weeks: The Olympics were not set to open in Tokyo until July 24.

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(…) Here’s the best part of the Olympic postponement: It wasn’t about politics. Organizers simply recognized that this was not the time. The risks were not worth the reward. Reason won the day. We cheer for elected leaders who approach the outbreak in the manner of an athlete looking to win the gold: Pay no attention to the complainers, don’t get distracted by the unimportant, listen to expert coaching, focus on the goal at hand, recognize our limits and, of course, saying a little prayer never hurt.

— The Baltimore Sun