FactualCanceled competitions, Olympic Games postponed, athletes in isolation … The Covid-19 not only upset the season’s calendar, but it also highlighted the weaknesses of professional sport.
If he could go back in time, Rudy Gobert recognizes it, he “Do not do it again[t] not “. On March 9, the French basketball player, who plays in the United States within the Utah Jazz, has fun touching all the microphones and telephones of the journalists posed in front of him. “To relax the atmosphere. “
The NBA (National Basketball Association), the North American basketball league, has just imposed a distance between the media and the players in order to prevent the risks of contamination with a new coronavirus, which we have been talking about for several weeks already, but which, until then, we do not really worry about. Two days later, on March 11, Rudy Gobert becomes “NBA patient zero”, the first player to test positive for Covid-19. And, unwillingly, the initiator of a brake that put world sport to a halt.
With the Euro football and the Olympic Games (Olympics) in Tokyo, 2020 promised to be rich. Instead, the year that ends will have seen an unprecedented upheaval, due to the pandemic caused by the coronavirus. For the first time since the end of the Second World War, extra-sporting events have turned the season upside down. And revealed, too, the weaknesses and certain dependencies of professional sport.
Two months of great emptiness
It’s hard to imagine, when the year begins, that after two and a half months of competition
world sport will suddenly come to a halt. While Australia is ravaged by huge fires, the young American Sofia Kenin wins the Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne.
In France, in mid-February, PSG lost their foothold in the round of 16 first leg of the Football Champions League in Dortmund (1-2), while the start of the Six Nations Tournament saw the XV of France version Fabien Galthié, the new coach, blow a refreshing wind of change after years of scarcity.
But, following the interruption of the NBA season (” until further notice “), it is the whole of world sport that presses pause in order to warn against the virus. Everywhere, national competitions are interrupted in mid-March, for at least two months, under the effect of containment measures taken by governments.
Postponements and cancellations are cascading from Roland-Garros to Paris-Roubaix. If the one-year delay of Euro-2020 football, in the summer of 2021, is recorded on March 17, that of the Olympics will require a little more time for “reflection”: after a phase of denial, the The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government finally announced, on March 24, to move the Games to the summer of 2021.
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