By Dr Micheal Warren
Welcome to the latest edition of this blog. Over the past few weeks, the global sporting calendar has been thrown into chaos as the impacts of COVID-19 affect the entire globe. Globally, all major sporting events are presently cancelled as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to grow at a rapid rate.
Here in New Zealand life changed in a matter of days as we are all in lockdown. As I write this post from my in Wellington apartment, it's hard to fathom the lasting effects of this crisis, not only on society but the global economy as people lose their jobs during the lockdown. It will take time to recover. While our essential workers are putting their lives on the line so we can continue to eat, and our hospitals stay open to heal the sick, many of our sportsmen and women continue to train in isolation.
With the Tokyo Olympic Games just around the corner, its potential postponement was the source of much comment. In the end, the IOC and the Organising Committee reached the logical conclusion that the games will be postponed until July, 23 2021. While this is the first postponement of the Olympic Games in its 124-year history, it's not the first time the Olympic Games have been disrupted. The Olympic Games were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to World War I and World War II.
These are unique and challenging times for the world, and the coming weeks and months will be hard for us all. Looking forward, there be a real opportunity for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to play a unique role in bringing the world out of this darkness and show us all the best of humanity!
Memories will be made in Tokyo, and new Olympic champions will be crowned and expect New Zealand to send its largest ever team to the Olympic Games. In brighter news, the first 12 athletes have been selected as part of the New Zealand Olympic Team.
The canoe slalom, sailing, shooting and taekwondo teams have officially been announced, with Rio gold medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke returning to defend their Olympic title. Over the coming months, expect more selections to be confirmed.
In the meantime, take care of your friends and family. Reach out to others, and eventually, we will be able to look forward to the world's biggest sporting event taking place in the city of Tokyo! This blog will take a break for a couple of months, and once there is clarity around hosting dates, we can continue this countdown.