Laurie Foster | A sporting nightmare is looming

first_imgIt was nothing short of a feat of Herculean proportions that the 44th staging of the Gibson/McCook Relays went ahead at the National Stadium last Saturday, despite the almost unceasing threat of bad weather which washed the venue for the majority of the day’s proceedings. It must have taken equal servings of the well-celebrated Fortis spirit, coupled with the attendant resolve and resilience – major platforms of the event’s founders – to make the spectacle even happen. From what is now in the public domain regarding the threat of the new coronavirus, the organisers of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are facing challenges which will make those which confronted the Kingston College family seem trivial.With just over four months to go for the opening ceremony, no decision has been taken as to whether there will be a cancellation. It has been said that neither a postponement nor a relocation will be on. Either option, one assumes, would upset the entire global sporting calendar, as countries are, with good reason, given seven years to prepare. Also to be considered is the economic loss to the hosts in terms of money already spent for which, there is little hope of recouping. All things considered, a sporting nightmare seems to be in the offing. But then, it will not be the first time that the world is facing this dilemma. Two world wars have forced cancellations of what has been called “The greatest show on Earth.” The first was in 1916 and the Second put paid to two editions, 1940 and 1944. On all three occasions, the Olympics were simply not held. Call a halt With all this in mind, what needs to happen is that very soon the organisers should arrive at the most logical conclusion, which is to call a halt to the proceedings as far as Tokyo is concerned and look to the future. There should be no fear that such action would sound a death knell for the sporting disciplines which will be staged. As callous as it may sound, the risk to life of participants, who will be travelling from all corners of the globe, is simply not worth it. One is forced to draw that conclusion, as it would appear that the full story of the spread of the virus is not being told. It would not surprise well-thinking persons that information is being withheld by some countries where there is affliction for the purposes of political expedience.Let the world decide that to put off the decision to cancel will only extend the risk over a longer period than is necessary. For sure, there is going to be a fallout. Jamaican athletes who see Tokyo as their last journey to that level will be disappointed. However, that should not be a consideration as there are more fundamental issues at hand. The prospects are too dire.It is regrettable but it is a decision which should be taken, and the sooner, the better. For feedback: email: [email protected]last_img

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