Considerations on the relocation of the Olympic Games from 2020 to 2021/Consideraciones sobre el desplazamiento de los Juegos olímpicos del año 2020 al 2021

PODIUM. Journal of Science and Technology in Physical Culture, January-April; 2022; 17(1):1-4


Translated from the original in spanish




Considerations on the relocation of the Olympic Games from 2020 to 2021


Consideraciones sobre el desplazamiento de los Juegos olímpicos del año 2020 al 2021


Considerações sobre a mudança dos Jogos Olímpicos de 2020 para 2021


Fernando Emilio Valladares Fuente1*


1University of Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca". Faculty of Physical Culture "Nancy Uranga Romagoza". Pinar del Río, Cuba.


*Corresponding author:

For the world of sport, few events are as eagerly awaited as the modern Olympic Games. This event displays a range of attractions, proof of courage, talent, perseverance and competitions that make sport a space for development, self-demand and peace among peoples. However, in these recent 2020 Games, something happened that broke with the usual frequency of 4 years for each world competition; the emergence and expansion of the pandemic caused by the Corona virus Sars cov 2 that forced the organizers to move the games. This led to a series of dissatisfactions and obstacles that affected Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches to some extent. Even in the origins of the Olympic Games in Greece, these games were conceived as an event where the conditions of the athletes had to be guaranteed and above all the time they needed to train, an issue that was altered with the circumstantial displacement in time. "The athletes were registered as individuals, they did not represent a state, and were evaluated by judges who had to verify that they met the five requirements: to be Greeks, to be free men, to be legitimate sons of Greek parents, not to be deprived of citizenship rights for having committed any crime and to have trained for a period of ten months before the event." (Garcés, 2021, p. 139).

Historically, this is not the first Olympic event that has been moved from its original date for reasons of global impact, others have also happened, unfortunately due to war conflicts and decisions that marked a difficult period for humanity. "Previously, the suspensions were particularly related to the World Wars: Berlin (1916), Tokyo/Helsinki (1940) and London (1944). On this occasion, the impediment and subsequent postponement was linked to a pandemic that had as its epicenter the Chinese region of Wuhan." (Beristain, Lantelme, 2020a. p. 432).

These games have very distinctive characteristics that make it very peculiar because it is a refinement of the Japanese sports system which aimed to exceed the expectations of Japan as host of the 1964 games and to establish its most advanced technology at the service of the world sports movement.

These games aim to provide a context for building a better and more peaceful world, educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind in a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. Taking youth as a reference, these games mean an educational tool of high value in these times where the crisis of moral values and the abuse of technologies threaten to distort the resilience and adaptation of man to health, economic and environmental crises.

"We must bear in mind that, today, one of the main stumbling blocks faced by the vast majority of national and international federations is to bring sports disciplines closer to a large number of young audiences with totally different customs than those of 20-30 years ago." (Quirós, 2021, p 5)

Internal to the athlete's preparation, this displacement caused a rupture of the routines established in training and the modification of the means, implements and sports spaces traditionally used to develop their physical and mental abilities and skills. From the psychological point of view, studies applied to athletes have been presented that point to:

"uncertainty, concerns regarding family health, boredom and restlessness to train; the former are a consequence of the threat posed by the pandemic, the latter, a product of the changes introduced in their life habits, more visible in those committed to participation in the OGY." (Duarte, 2021, p. 11).

But, in no way has sport constituted a conduit to stress and anxiety, it is more than demonstrable that sport and physical activity help to relieve stress in the most hostile and adverse conditions In research,

"it is concluded that exercising outdoors, while maintaining the necessary protective measures, would not only improve symptoms of stress and anxiety, but would contribute to the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle." (Pico, et al, p. 35, 2020).

The displacement of the Olympic Games was preferable to their cancellation, which would lead to economic chaos, especially for the powers that have allocated large budgets to organizations, federations and sporting events. It would cause a decline in the economic levels of the host country that would stop earning high dividends such as fees for advertising rights, attendance at the shows and tourism around the sporting event.

"Japan's GDP will suffer a retraction of 1.6 % due to the suspension of the Olympic Games, when it was expected to be around 1.1 % for this year. At the international level, the attention generated by the mega event will focus on the emergence of the Covid-19 cure, so the sports diplomacy deployed by Tokyo for years will suffer a setback in political terms. This is because, by 2021, the participating delegations will have to be guaranteed the sanitary conditions to avoid any kind of crisis." (Beristain, Lantelme, 2020b. p. 436)

Keeping the faith of producing the games would not only avoid these losses but would also show the world what an organized and resilient people like Japan is capable of. Moreover, when the host of the games is this selfless country, the consequences of this displacement are also reflected in the world's weakest economies, specifically Cuba.

The sports movement in the largest of the Antilles has been led to restructure training plans under pandemic conditions, even in the pressing condition of being a third world country and constantly besieged by the U.S. blockade. This second factor makes the maintenance of the sport a high challenge when practicing in sports venues of high logistical and technological conception puts the Cuban team at a disadvantage in various modalities. Moving the date of the competition implies more expenditure of resources, training time outside the calendar preconceived from previous years as a form of system in the pyramid of the Cuban sports movement.

This is without taking into account the psychological damage caused by the act of confinement and the adaptation of training for sports, especially collective sports. Even so, this fourteenth position in the Olympic medal standings denotes the high capacity of the Cuban Olympic Committee, our athletes and coaches to comply with the new conditions imposed by the pandemic and achieve positive results. Much more difficult has been the challenge of coaches and Paralympic athletes, who in disadvantageous physical conditions, achieved medals and offered the best of them to put the name of Cuba in the most revered and most beloved place; for what it means to represent this small and brave homeland.



Barrios Duarte, R. (2021). Pandemia por COVID-19 y salud mental en deportistas: Una exploración después de la primera etapa. Revista Cubana de Medicina del Deporte y la Cultura Física, 15(3), Article 3.

Beristain, M. E., & Lantelme, S. (2020). Las relaciones internacionales, el turismo y un nuevo fenómeno mundial: Covid-19. El caso de los Juegos Olímpicos (Tokio, 2020). Temas y debates: revista universitaria de ciencias sociales, 1, 431-437.

Garcés García, M. del P. G. (2021). El espíritu olímpico en Occidente desde sus orígenes en Grecia y los Juegos Olímpicos de Tokio (1964-2021). Revista de Filología de la Universidad de La Laguna, 43, 137-152.

Picco, J., Dávila, E. G., Wolff, S., Gómez, V., & Wolff, D. (2020). Aspectos psicosociales de la pandemia COVID-19 en la población de la ciudad de Mendoza. Revista argentina de cardiología, 88(3), 207-210.


Conflict of interests:
The authors declare not to have any interest conflicts. 


Authors' contribution:
Fernando Emilio Valladares Fuente: Conception of the idea, literature search and review, database preparation, general advice on the topic addressed, drafting of the original (first version), review and final version of the article, article correction, authorship coordinator, translation of terms or information obtained, review of the application of the applied bibliographic standard.


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Copyright (c) 2022 Fernando Emilio Valladares Fuente