The Olympics games are something that many athletes look forward to because it’s one of the best competitions in the world and is seen by hundreds of thousands of people from around the world. Many athletes see this as an opportunity of a lifetime because it is surely an experience to hold for the rest of your life and competing against the best athletes from around the world.
Olympics take place every 4 years and were supposed to be held last year but due to the COVID-19 pandemic it had to be rescheduled for summer 2021. The games will be played in Tokyo and will start on the 23rd of July and end on the 8th of August. In Tokyo there will be 33 different sports and 339 medal events making this the biggest Olympic program till date.
Many nations take part in the Olympics including Malta. In this edition of the Olympics there will be 6 Maltese athletes taking part, 2 of them are not new to this competition as Eleanor Bezzina took part in Rio 2016 and will be taking part in indoor pistol shooting, Andrew Chetcuti took part in the last 2 editions of the Olympics and represented Malta in swimming. The new athletes competing will be Carla Scicluna (Track and Field) – a 100m national champion, Matthew Abela (Badminton) – the first athlete representing Malta in badminton, Yasmin Zammit Stevens (weightlifting) who is the first female athlete to represent Malta in weightlifting and Sacha Gatt (Swimming) who is the youngest athlete taking part in this year’s games.
Unfortunately the games will be played without spectators after a meeting held between the Olympic minister, the IOC and the local organizers. The athletes will have to undergo daily COVID-19 tests and non-Japanese athletes must leave Japan within 48 hours from when their respective events ends. Athletes that tests positive for the virus will be removed from the competition and since they will be isolated most of the time except in training, there is no need for other athletes to stay in quarantine. This will be a challenging time for the organisers because over 3,000 athletes from different countries will be going to Tokyo and not every country has the same problem with the pandemic. For the athletes it will also be a difficult time because they have to focus on their events and they can’t interact with other athletes.
There are a lot of different sports played in the Olympics but the most popular amongst the people are athletics, swimming, gymnastics and football. The arenas or stadiums would have been filled with people if spectators were allowed to watch the games. TV broadcasters will surely have an increase in viewers as happened this year with every sport. In football the age limit is 23 years, most countries play with the under 21 side. Although they’re not the first team the level is still high because there will be very promising youngsters. Spain will have Eric Garcia and Pedri who were both in the Spanish squad that participated in the Euros this summer. Pedri won the best young player of the tournament. Every event will be a challenge for every athlete because the levels are extremely high, the athletes are the best in their respective country.
The Olympic games have always produced great entertainment and I’m sure this year will be no less although the spectators are not allowed. These games bring people from different countries together and shows how much sports is important in our daily lives. For any country that hosts such big events will be a good image for that country because it is televised all over the world and it can attract tourists.