Sreeda U M
If the year 2020 could be considered as a person, there’s no doubt that it would be one of the deadliest villains humankind has ever faced. In every sectors of life all around the world, COVID 19 has spread its fatal fangs. The world history could be studied divided into pre- COVID and post- COVID. The resilience of humanity is being undergone a trial in which we are striving to cope. The shift it caused in various fields such as economy, science, technology and education will remain as a milestone.
This pandemic could send shockwaves across the globe in a record time when we believed it could never happen in a postmodern era ruled by technology. Economy decelerated in every single country including the most advanced ones. It has been a wake-up call for many high-income nations as this pandemic has brought forth the fragility of their healthcare systems which were considered as modern and well-equipped. Technology ameliorated its worth by bringing up innovations. The world of science has been assigned the greatest mission to eradicate this virus like the Avengers in End Game. Moreover, Humanity learned how to adjust to the doom of being separated from a normal social life. When too many changes happen at the same time, fields like Sports somehow get marginalized. But the major thing that helped us to live with the baggage of miseries in 2020 is the comeback of one of the greatest gifts of humanity.
Since its first stage of outbreak, major sport events had been postponed or cancelled. The Olympics, Wimbledon, Men’s T20 World Cup etc. were scheduled to take place in 2020. The most significant one that was due to come about in Japan this summer was the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. However, the International Olympic Committee and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have postponed the event to next year, where it will now take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021. We can’t be certain of that too, if the virus keeps going steep on the graphs.
It is true that some of the sports will be hit harder than the most popular ones like football and cricket. For most famous sports, especially cricket and football, its major revenue depends upon its viewers in and out of the stadium. Yet there is more business going on with cricket, than football. The economic structure of international cricket is likely to change, with lower-ranked nations facing a crunch in funds, and even main powers like BCCI have had struggle. IPL had to be held under any circumstances and thus was carried out in the UAE. After that, many tournaments and series were and are occurring all over the world, with and without viewers. For Tennis, cancellation of ATP and WTA World tours was a huge setback, especially for lower ranked players as this could cause a marking of their career end. Wimbledon was also cancelled, but US and French Opens were held to pay off.
Well, it all comes back to normal, even a lot of nations are suffering from the virus harder and harder. Bundes liga of Germany was the first to return in May, following the restrictions. Then all major football leagues came back like a rainfall into a hornbill’s mouth. At first, no fans were allowed inside the stadium, and everybody inside it was constantly tested for the virus and kept all hygiene standards like masks and gloves. But after few weeks it all loosened up, even when COVID never did. Yet, one must admit that it could ease the stress and despairs of this unfortunate year. At least, we can feel a little bit of its spirit through TV and mobile devices.
It is indisputable that the COVID-19 pandemic will change the fate of mankind by changing the overall perspective we had towards this era. But it also leaves us with a lot of portentous questions. They make us rethink our health care system, consumption habits, different ways of political exploitation and sustainable development. The future of humanity relies on our attempts to make us more serious in preserving this world with a safer environment as well as more innovative and effective in maintaining it. That is why we should be optimistic and focused in the post- COVID world as it will witness the emergence of a new human being, whose daily behaviour and aspects will change from what it was before the COVID outbreak. As history has shown, choices made during major crises can mould the world for the times to come. So, let us move forward to embrace new spaces of possibilities with better vision and collective action to build a world which assures prosperity and safety for all.
Well observed and written.
The rich games like cricket and football are moving more towards online mode in pandemic era they can succeed in it too. They need limited resources only to conduct. But basic sports like Olympics etc need more participation and hence difficult to move to New format.
Looking forward to have some in-depth analysis on India and Tokyo Olympics.