Olympics: Times the Games Were Postponed, Cancelled or Disrupted

Since the opening of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, international sports competition has only been canceled three times: once during the First World War (1916) and twice during the Second World War (1940, 1944). Until the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, which postponed the Summer Olympics for a year, the Olympics withstood politically charged boycotts and two separate terrorist attacks without being canceled or postponed in time. peace.

The 1916 Olympics were supposed to be hosted by the German Empire, which had built an impressive 30,000-seat stadium in Berlin for the event. But with the outbreak of war in 1914 and the eventual participation of so many nations that sent athletes to the Olympic Games, the 1916 games were abandoned.

PICTURES: Soldiers of the First World War organized their own Olympic Games after the war

1920: Germany invited

1920 olympics

Representatives from various countries line up at the opening ceremony of the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium.

The 1920 games in Antwerp, Belgium, were the first in which a nation was actively invited. Germany was blamed for starting World War I, and even though the country was under a new Belgian government – known as the Weimar Republic – and later French Olympic officials banned German athletes from participating at the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games.

Twenty years after the canceled Games of 1916, Germany was to host the Olympic Games again in 1936, this time under the Nazi flag. In America, a coalition of Jewish and Catholic groups called on the US Olympic Committee to boycott the games, but was ignored by committee chairman Avery Brundage, a Germanophile by profession.

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