Olympian stock image via Getty
Olympian stock image via Getty

Peter Williams: Is it right for Olympic athletes to gather at a time like this?

Opinion 03/05/2021

OPINION: I see that Michael Baker reckons the Olympics shouldn’t go ahead. He’s now calling it a moral issue, saying that athletes and officials from smaller and poorer countries might be getting the vaccine ahead of those who really need it. 

He sees huge amounts of travel to Japan and the gatherings of people in an already densely populated nation as difficult to manage and reckons the effort required to do that would be better used and spent in the worldwide fight against covid. He also invoked the Olympic spirit saying the games were about global unity, and that having a major sports event while many countries in the world continued with their battle was not a moral or a fair thing to do.

What do you think? Is it right for Olympic athletes to gather at a time like this? 

After all sports events are happening all over the world, most of them, like the Olympics, don’t have any crowds watching them. Even in India, despite the hundreds of thousands of daily cases, the IPL goes ahead every day because it’s thought that a big cricket event is entertainment and a distraction from the daily horrors? 

Should we look at the Olympics the same way? They’re due to start on July 23 and plans are well advanced. The Japanese people don’t want them, the medical and health professionals especially don’t want them, but there seems no way they’ll be called off at this late stage.  So what are you thinking? 

Are you excited about the Olympics? I’m struggling to be. I love the Olympics. I’ve been to them six times. But when the events will be played out in empty stadiums, I just think they won’t be like the Olympics should be. But will that matter?

Catch Peter Williams every weekday morning from 9am on Magic Talk.