- The pandemic has played havoc with the staging of many high-profile and hugely popular sporting events over the past year and a half is well documented. Alongside others, the sporting fraternity has endured challenging situations all along battling out to stay afloat as well as devise palpable ways and means to ensure a semblance of normalcy returns sooner than later. As you are aware, no less than the biggest sporting event on earth like the Olympics scheduled in Tokyo, Japan had to be postponed last year when the pandemic raged across the universe.
- Fortunately, human endeavors to invent innovative ideas in the face of mounting challenges are exemplary and the axiom necessity is the mother of all inventions was proved yet again when enterprising sports administrators devised a workable solution viz. a safe bio-secure bubble to conduct events albeit without spectators. No sooner this safe and secure – not 100 percent though – methodology was zeroed-in, hitherto stalled sporting activities started to take place in right earnest setting about a frenzy amongst the aficionados. Of course, the virus did manage to breach the bio-bubble a few times despite observing stringent safety and health protocol to stay safe from the dreaded infection.
- There was much successful conduct of sporting contests and few misses too when the cluster outbreaks were reported leading to postponement and suspension. If you recollect, the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League T20 cricket tournament was successfully conducted in the United Arab Emirates. Unfortunately, the 14th edition in India had to be postponed indefinitely as the second Covid wave ravaged. One of the most obvious elements missing amid the bio-bubble scenario is the absence of spectators to cheer on their favorite superstars and teams. Since the social distancing norms prescribed as part of the standard operating protocol do not permit allowing of a crowd, the excitement, frenzy, buzz, razzmatazz, and electric atmosphere a packed stadium provides is the biggest casualty.
PC: JAMES BILLINGTON
- Sporting enthusiasts and avid followers had to make do with the television broadcasting settling for entertainment made available within the comforts of the four walls of homes. Positive developments on the vaccine front did offer hopes of staging events by allowing limited spectators into the playing arena which saw an increase depending on the local Covid situation. Few of the Football events underway presently have near capacity spectators thronging the stadiums cheering raucously and soaking in the unique atmosphere that only a filled-up arena extends. All eyes were glued to the Olympics which kick starts in the next couple of weeks and the gravest fears appear to have come true now.
- Unfortunately, the worst has befallen the Tokyo Olympics but thankfully, short of abrupt cancellation as Japan steadily reported a spike in the confirmed infection cases over the last few days. Japan has declared a Covid emergency in its capital, prompting the authorities to disallow fans at any of the events being held there. This is a massive setback robbing the fans to witness in person some of the biggest athletes competing against the best to leave behind an indelible mark. The only consolation is the Olympics will be conducted. Something is better than nothing. Let us settle for the same.