By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly
Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed to 2021
Due to the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19, Olympic organizers decided to postpone the Summer Olympics in Tokyo to 2021. The move comes after several countries expressed concerns about training and traveling during these uncertain times.
“It is a very complex event to organize, and its postponement is a real challenge. It is like a huge jigsaw puzzle where every piece is important and must fit together,” read the statement from organizers on its website. It is the first time in Olympic history that the Games are postponed. World War I and World War II caused the cancellation of the Olympic Games, but in its history, it has never postponed the Games.
The heavy news comes with relief to some and disappointment to most that have been training the past four years. While some athletes will have the opportunity to compete in 2021, many, for one reason or another, may decide to forego next year’s event.
The decision to postpone the Games was made with the input from the Japanese government and International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC decided not to cancel the Games because “it would have destroyed the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes…and for all the people who are supporting the athletes, including coaches, doctors, officials, training partners, friends, and family.”
The postponement presents logistical issues for businesses and individuals that prepared for the Tokyo Olympics this summer and now must recalibrate their efforts for next summer. In addition, this shortens the timespan for which the Olympic Committee will plan for the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022 and the Youth Olympic Games in Dakar in 2022.
Many Olympic gymnasts, such as the United States’ Simon Biles, found the news devastating considering the small window for their careers. She told “The Today Show” that when she learned of the news, she started crying.
In addition to the mental impact on athletes, it will also be a financial hit for the Olympic Games. According to one report, Japan is faced with a possible $6 billion economic loss.
This is based on the amount spent in preparing for this summer, as well as the sponsorship dollars invested. The country will now host the Games and Paralympics next year. Economic benefits from the 2020 Olympics would have bolstered a range of sectors in Japan, ranging from construction to the service industries. Many venues built specifically for the Games will now be empty until next year while many workers anticipating work this summer will have to look elsewhere. The tourism industry will also have to downgrade its expected earnings for this year.
Shin-Soo Choo provides financial assistance to minor leaguers
When Texas Rangers’ outfielder Shin-Soo Choo left South Korea to embark on his baseball dreams in 2005, he had little money. Choo started his career in the minor leagues with the Seattle Mariners. Unlike major league players, minor leaguers are not paid as well. This is why Choo decided to help the Rangers organization by giving the 191 minor league players $1,000 each to help with living costs while baseball is on pause.
Choo, the highest-paid player on the Rangers, recalled times when he could barely afford diapers for his newborn while playing in the minor leagues. Now that the 37-year-old veteran has the financial stability, he is giving back. Choo is in the final year of a $130 million, 7-year deal.
Additionally, Choo donated $200,000 to the city of Daegu, South Korea where his parents reside. The city was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. His parents are doing fine, but his financial donation will help those affected by the coronavirus.
Major League Baseball (MLB) is providing $400 weekly allowances for players in the minor leagues through the end of May. Other athletes have also stepped up to contribute to those displaced from their jobs after the NBA and MLB postponed their seasons.
Baldwin helps seniors and students in response to Coronavirus
Former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin is keeping busy by helping those in the community.
Through Family First Renton, Baldwin is reaching out to school districts and local grocery chains to come up with ways to help with child care for first responder families, and get groceries to seniors in need. He’s assisted with a partnership with Safeway and Northwest Harvest to deliver groceries to seniors and people whose immune systems are compromised.
Baldwin, who played eight seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, has been an intricate part of the community since moving to Seattle. Baldwin’s mother is Filipino, and his father was a police officer in the Pensacola, Florida Police Department.
In a recent interview, Baldwin said that he’s always been fortunate to be in a position where he’s never been in need of services.
“As a human being, I’ve always been empathetic.” He also pleaded to younger people to think about others in stopping the spread of the disease.
Jason can be reached at email@example.com.