The Olympics are coming closer as we speak and is set to be one of the biggest televised events of 2021. It’s always exciting to see the world’s premier athletes go head-to-head to see which nation takes home the most medals. For me, tennis, basketball, soccer, and track & field are some of my favorite sports to watch in this competition. While it is exciting to see the event that was supposed to take place in 2020 return this year, it still should not go as planned and be delayed.
The biggest concern that people have against The Olympics going as planned has been multiple concerns of the coronavirus pandemic. While more and more people are starting to become fully vaccinated, it does not change the fact that thousands of people around the world die each day from the pandemic. COVID-19 has seen a resurgence in Tokyo Japan, where the Olympics are being held this year. In a recent survey, over 60 percent of people living in Japan have stated that they are against having the Olympics running as planned and want to delay the event. And it’s easy to see why people feel this way. 6,000 people a day are dying from the virus in Japan. In other parts of the world, 4,000 people a day die from the coronavirus in Brazil, and at one point, India recorded 125,000 new cases of COVID-19 in one day.
To build on this, multiple athletes, media officials, and staff traveling in from around the world have expressed their concerns about being in the same place at the same time. This creates a big risk for a superspreading event, and an increase in COVID-Cases. Although tennis stars Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori are participating in this year’s Olympics, they have expressed their concerns about how the event is going to be run, and agreed that the event should be delayed. That is why several athletes who received invitations to compete in The Olympics have withdrawn from their event.
Additionally, because only people that live in Japan will be allowed to attend the event. Running the Olympics during the pandemic significantly hurts their in-person experience, and revenue. The expected attendance for the event this year has significantly dropped, from a strong 180,000 to only 80,000 for the biggest competition in the world. There is no doubt that they will be gaining most of its revenue this year from televised deals, and ratings.
Many people feel that this year’s Olympics may be rushed. In its long and prestigious history, it has only been cancelled 3 times. It was cancelled in 1916, 1940, and 1944. The Olympics were cancelled during World Wars I and II. What is ironic about this is that the Olympics were supposed to be held in Tokyo Japan in 1940, until they decided to cancel it due to World War II. 2020 was the first time in its history that it got pushed back due to the global pandemic. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) released a statement saying that there is no option for another delay of The Olympics.
Why did the Olympics Push For The Games To Continue This Summer?
The biggest reason that the Olympics have continued their events this summer is due to the fact that for many athletes, it has been their dream to represent their country. The Olympics already got delayed, and it resulted in the athletes competing in the tournament having to train another year for the competition. From an athlete’s perspective, it is certainly understandable that they want to compete in the biggest competition in the world. However, it is more important that The Olympics can deliver an event where there aren’t as many concerns about the virus as there are now.
Although the events will be going on as planned in July, The Olympics are planning to create a similar situation to what the NBA did to complete their season last summer. The Olympics are trying to create a “bubble” for the athletes and staff, in which they are contained in the facilities and are not allowed to leave until the games are over. When the NBA put their bubble plan in motion in the summer of 2020, there were 0 COVID-Cases as a result of everyone being contained inside the bubble and multiple rounds of COVID-Testing. An Olympic Athlete has already tested positive for the virus on Monday, however, The Olympics will continue to have their plan in motion.
This year’s Olympics will be the most expensive of all time. Having already spent upwards of $25 billion on the events, they do not want to delay the events for another year, resulting in them spending more money on an event that would be delayed for two years.
Finally, pushing for the Olympic Games to continue despite the pandemic is a way for Japan to send two messages. The first message is that Japan can handle the pandemic. Japan is one of the countries that has been able to handle the pandemic quite well since it began in March 2020. If they were to cancel the event again in 2021, it could show that Japan may not be able to handle the virus as well as people may have thought. Additionally, as more and more people are vaccinated against the virus, it is a way for Japan to show the world that there could be a return to normalcy again. As people are leaving their homes again, Japan is hoping to show that with The Olympics, we can return to a state of normalcy soon.
How The Olympics Should Be Branded on Social Media
While the Olympics will not have as many expected fans as before the pandemic, the place where most of their revenue will reside is most likely on Social Media. As The Olympics have a massive following that reaches a global audience virtually, using platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter will really gain traction. Here is how The Olympics should be Branded on Social Media.
- Promote the Sports That Have the Most Followers per athlete
A study done by Sports Pro showed what sport has the most followers per athlete for the Olympics.
By promoting the sports that have the most followers per athlete on social media, it will result in more people wanting to engage with the players through social media. And more engagement means more eyes on the Olympics
- Determine what sport has the most Athlete Engagement With Fans
It is important for Olympic athletes to be able to engage with the fans through social media. Another study by Sports Pro showed what sports have the most engagement with the fans.
As you can see, some of the sports listed in this infographic might not be as popular as a sport like basketball or soccer. However, the average athlete engagement between fans and social media is considerably high. This will result in more content for the Olympics to work with, and more eyes on the games.
While the Olympics will still be going as planned this year, I believe that the Olympics should be delayed. There is still so much uncertainty surrounding the games, with the biggest one being the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is still a major issue. 6,000 people are dying from the virus every day in Japan, and although things are easing up with more and more people each day getting the vaccine, it does not change the fact that people from around the world will be in the same place at the same time. This could definitely result in a superspreading event.
Finally, the Olympics are not going away. It is understandable that the athletes don’t want to wait another year to represent their country. But many people feel that this year’s Olympics might be rushed so that they do not have to delay it another year. What is most important is that we create a setting in which we can have somewhat of a return to normalcy.