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The 6 Times That the Olympics Have Been Postponed or Cancelled

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo has been officially postponed due to this coronavirus pandemic. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan agreed to push the start date back to 2021 after Canada, Australia, and other nations announced they wouldn’t send athletes to the Summer Games this July.

The Summer Olympics is the most significant sporting occasion from the world, typically attracting more than 10,000 athletes from dozens of countries together every four decades, The New York Times accounts. It’s extremely rare for the Summer or Winter Olympics to be postponed or cancelled. Since 1896, once the contemporary Olympic Games began, it has happened only six times–and it usually requires a war.

The 6 Times That the Olympics Have Been Postponed or Cancelled

The 1940 Summer Games, scheduled to take place in Tokyo, were postponed as a result of war and moved to Helsinki, Finland, where they were later cancelled altogether. The current coronavirus pandemic marks the first time the contest has been briefly postponed for a reason additional than warfare. Here is the complete list.

  • 1916 Summer Olympics @Berlin, Germany
  • 1940 Summer Olympics @ Tokyo, Japan and Helsinki, Finland
  • 1940 Winter Olympics @ Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 1944 Summer Olympics @ London, United Kingdom
  • 1944 Winter Olympics @ Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
  • 2020 Summer Olympics @ Tokyo, Japan

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