One of the fields that have been impacted the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic has to be sports and particularly, sports events. While some sort of training can be had, sports events have been out of the question most of the year in Canada.
Social Distancing and Arenas
Most big sports events in Canada draw thousands of fans that all huddle together, drink together, eat together, hug each other both to celebrate and to weep about losses. It is overall a very physical experience in which having no contact is entirely impossible and this is the main issue that is faced.
As social distancing became the go-to solution to avoid collapsing the health care system with too many COVID-19 cases flooding in at once, gathering in big arenas is ruled out. Additionally, even when the event does not take place at an Arena, there is also the issue of huddling together and being too close to each other and thus they were cancelled.
The Seasons that Never Happened – Big Events Postponed
Since the pandemic was declared early on this year and Canada was quick to take measures, there have been some seasons that just never happened. Curling has been affected, with all of its main events shut down due to the pandemic and the strict measures that would have to be taken to make games possible.
Typically, the sports that have less income from media broadcasting, have been hit the hardest because they largely depend on fans’ attendance to events to fund them. Other events like the 2020 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship, the CFL, and the world figure skating championships in Montreal, also suffered from no season and total cancellation.
Although the MLB and the NBA, with their respective female counterparts, could fund the events with no attendees, the risk and losses have been deemed too high. There has been no baseball nor basketball for Canadians this year, and it is looking like there won’t be.
Perhaps the most shocking and biggest print that the COVID pandemic will leave in this year’s sports events has to be the fact that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics had to be postponed.
The Stanley Cup – A Beacon of Hope
While almost all other sports events and tournaments have suffered cancellation or been postponed until next year, the NHL has managed to have a successful tournament. The season was not regular at all and filled with obstacles, but it all paid off when Tampa Bay Lightning won the tournament, on September 28th.
Although this was a chance for fans to experience some joy in live sports again, several adjustments had to be made, for the season and tournament to work. The whole tournament was played in Edmonton and the traditional celebrations with the Cup itself were cut short, as to avoid the risk of mass contagion.
Overall, this pandemic has left a permanent mark on this years’ sports events, with so many being postponed and cancelled. The few that have been saved, do not resemble the regular seasons at all, but we are glad at least we have some consolation as fans.