ISTANBUL – The long-delayed 2020 Summer Olympics will take place in Tokyo from July 23 to Aug. 8 in the shadow of coronavirus, without international spectators.
More than 11,000 athletes from 205 nations will compete at the games, which were postponed for one year due to the pandemic. It was canceled three times in the past because of wars.
The 1916 Olympics during World War I and the 1940 and 1944 Games during World War II were canceled.
On April 6, 1896, the inaugural Games kicked off in Athens.
For the next nine days, a total of 241 competitors from 14 countries will compete in events from running to rope-climbing.
The US has hosted the Summer Games four times — 1904 St. Louis, 1932 and 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta. Great Britain has been the host three times — 1908, 1948, and 2012 London).
The Games have been held twice each in Greece — 1896 and 2004 (Athens); France — 1900 and 1924 (Paris); Germany — 1936 Berlin and 1972 Munich; and Australia — 1956 Melbourne and 2000 Sydney.
Two Games took place under the shadow of political tensions where countries did not send athletes for political reasons.
Moscow hosted the 1980 Olympics shortly after the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
The US led the largest boycott in the history of the Games with more than 60 countries protesting the invasion. But that triggered a boycott during the next tournament.
Athletes from the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries did not participate in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles in retaliation for the previous boycott by the US.
Phelps clinches most Olympic medals
American Michael Phelps holds the record for the most medals won by any athlete at 28, including 23 gold medals and 13 individual gold.
The 35-year-old competed in his first Olympics at the age of 15, as part of the swimming team.
He was the first American male swimmer to earn a spot on five Olympic teams and made history as the oldest individual gold medalist in Olympic swimming history at 28.
Phelps won six golds at 19, a record eight at 23, and went out with five more at age 31.
Turkish weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu was the first weightlifter to bag gold at three Olympic Games.
Nicknamed “Pocket Hercules,” for his 1.47-meter (4-foot, 10-inch) frame, Suleymanoglu made history, clinching gold in three successive Games: Atlanta 1996, Barcelona 1992, and Seoul 1988.
Suleymanoglu was named the best athlete on the planet by the International Weightlifting Federation Media Commission in 1992. (Anadolu)