An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THERE’S NO MORE EXCITING SPORTING EVENT than the Olympic Games. For two weeks, the very best athletes in the world compete against each other, and millions sit glued to their TV sets, joining the lucky thousands who attend in person.
The 2020 Games are just the sort of thing we need to boost our spirits as we struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, as of today, the Games won’t happen, and Canada has had a big role to play. Our country opted out of the Games on Sunday, citing the obvious reasons.
Australia followed, and others began talking about postponement as well.
This morning, host Japan and the International Olympic Committee fell in line with what was becoming a groundswell.
The writing was on the wall after Canada’s IOC member Dick Pound said Monday the decision to postpone was pretty much a certainty, though not yet officially announced. It became official today as pressure mounted against the absurdity of gathering the world’s top athletes in one place along with all those spectators, where COVID-19 was bound to have a field day.
Canada’s gutsy leadership is obviously a crushing blow to our athletes — some from Kamloops — who would have had the honour of representing our country. It’s almost as disappointing to sports fans who would have gotten such a morale kick from watching them in action.
But it was the right thing to do. It was becoming ridiculous to even think about staging the Olympics this year, for we know we can’t possibly get a handle on COVID-19 by July when they were scheduled.
A year’s postponement is at least a better option than outright cancellation, and we should be proud that Canada called BS on Japan and the IOC.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.