What To Expect from the 2021 Olympics

Avery Chalk, Writer

Amidst COVID chaos and an ever-growing list of postponed professional events, one question has surely rocked the minds of many sports fans: What will the Tokyo Olympic Games look like?

One of Tokyo’s many Olympic Venues! (Jae C.Hong)

The 2020 Games were presumed to the best yet. Masses of superhuman athletes, a gorgeous host-city, and perfect summer weather all jointly contributed to the thrilling buzz in the air, even months before the event’s original date. Although the Olympic Committee has made the difficult (and historic) decision to delay the event until 2021, spectators and athletes alike can be assured that the overall integrity of the Games will not be compromised. However, a few small changes have been set in place to ensure the safety of all involved.

First, the IOC (International Olympic Committee), has released a list of measures they plan to take in hopes of minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Significant factors on the list include social distancing, the strict regulation of masks, frequent testings, and deep cleanings of all equipment (both personal and facility-owned). Travel restrictions for both athletes and spectators have also been put in place. For more information on such precautionary measures, click here.

The number of spectators allowed on the premises have also been revised. In the past, Olympics audiences have boasted as many as 83,00,000 attendees. This time around, the IOC will be sure to omit extra staff by simplifying the Opening and Closing ceremonies. While technicalities have not yet been fully ironed out, officials also fully intend to restrict the number of supporters allowed on the premises. However, fans are of course encouraged to watch from the safety and comfort of their own homes.

Kristi Kirshe, an Olympic athlete in Rugby, in action! (Getty Images)

Kristi Kirshe, an Olympian in Rugby (as well as graduate from Franklin High School), thinks that the IOC, “made the best decision possible“, by rescheduling the Games. “It was a really hard day for all of us when we heard the games were going to be postponed”, Kirshe admitted, “but I honestly don’t think they had any other option under the circumstances.” 

Kirshe also suggests the possibility of COVID-19 restrictions managing to work in the athlete’s favor, revealing that, “many of the athletes I know… have noted that the fanfare can actually be distracting!” She, like many other Tokyo – bound athletes, “just want the opportunity to compete.”

Viewers can be sure to tune in and watch the lighting of the torch on July 23, 2021. Events will conclude on August 8, after 16 days worth of summer sporting events. Be sure to cheer your favorite athletes on!