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Tokyo Olympics saw it coming

Olympic postponement was inevitable considering the situation all around the world
Shuchismita Basu

Angshuman Roy   |   Calcutta   |   Published 25.03.20, 08:29 PM

Tokyo woke up on Wednesday to the news that the 2020 Olympic Games has been postponed by one year due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. For the Indians staying in Tokyo, the postponement was inevitable.

“It was coming. Given the situation worldwide we knew the Games would have to be postponed. An Olympic Games is not a state-level meet. It’s a carnival. Japan was expecting millions of people to come from different countries to watch the Games. My European friends, who generally go to their respective countries during the summer, were excited about their relatives coming over this time for the Olympics. That was of course before the coronavirus hit the world,” Paramita Basu, an elementary level teacher at an international school in Tokyo, told The Telegraph on Wednesday morning.

Paramita’s daughter, Shuchismita was selected as a volunteer for the Games and the 26-year-old feels the decision was taken after taking into account the pros and cons.

“It’s a big economic blow to Japan given the huge investment the country made but a good decision nevertheless,” Shuchismita who works in a multinational company said. “I was selected as a volunteer, but our training got disrupted due to the contagion.”

In January 2019 the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games had given advertisements asking for volunteers. Shuchismita who had prior experience during her school days as a volunteer in Sendai during the 2011 earthquake, got selected after an interview.

“I was looking forward to the Games but now I have to wait for one more year. The postponement will have huge ramifications since everything was ready in Tokyo,” she said.

Madhuri Konda, a teacher, too felt the postponement was coming since the world has been shaken by the virus attack. “Look most of the athletes are quarantined so they are not being able to practise for an indefinite period. Then the volunteers are not trained yet and there is too less a time to prepare them for the actual opening and running of the Games.

“The safety of spectators and athletes are also not guaranteed because of the type of the virus. So, for all these reasons and more, even though there will be an economic effect on the host country because of the delay, it’s the right decision and in the best interest of the people. Yes Tokyo is ready, but the world is shaken and not in that frame of mind,” she said.

Gayatri Bhavaraju also echoed the same view. “Sad that Games would be in 2021 and not this summer. But rightly done. Postponement was inevitable considering the situation all around the world. If you ask me, it’s the most sensible decision,” she said.

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