In light of everything going on in the world right now, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been postponed. The decision was not an easy one, and it was one that the Japanese Prime Minister talked over tirelessly with the International Olympic Committee before confirming to the rest of the world. While this news has come to a blow for athletes and fans alike, it’s made people wonder… have the Olympic Games ever been canceled? Well, the answer is yes.
The 1916 Summer Olympics
It’s a well-known fact that World War I began in 1914, and while the famous Berlin Games were due to take place that year, the organizers ultimately made the decision to cancel for the safety of everyone involved. With Germany all set to host the 1916 Summer Olympics two years later, organizers hoped that the war would be over by the time the holiday spirit came around, meaning that they wouldn’t have to cancel another sporting event in their country. Of course, the armistice bell rang in 1918, which meant that the Olympic Committee had no choice but to cancel the event altogether.
The 1940 And 1944 Olympic Games
In 1936, Japan became the first non-Western city to be pipped as the Olympic Games host, and they put their all into making sure that the 1940 Games would impress others across the world. However, as a war between Japan and China raged on in 1937, they decided to forfeit this responsibility. It was later handed over to Helsinki, but another war devastated the Games’ place in history. As World War II caused destruction and fatalities, the decision was made to cancel the Olympics entirely. Although many hoped that the war would be over in time for the 1944 Olympic Games in London, it just wasn’t meant to be. This event was also canceled.
Thankfully, the 2020 Olympics are not canceled entirely, but merely postponed.