Because of the new collective consumption of news due to social media and the rise of clickbait and controversy as journalistic tactics, the Olympics have become a pressure test for athletes: either falter and face widespread criticism, or rise to the occasion and become a national icon.
Even in a typical non-pandemic year, host cities pull out all the stops to cultivate an Olympic experience — and face enormous debt as a result. What, then, is the draw of such exorbitant spending in the eyes of host cities?
After a victory jog, Richardson hurried to embrace her grandmother on the sidelines, her face wracked with the emotions of a lifelong dream fulfilled. In a matter of days, that elation would be replaced with sorrow, remorse, and raw grief.
Last March, the highest caliber athletes around the world were forced to put their dreams on hold. The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo could not have taken place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the official announcement still arrived as a shock to the thousands of athletes vying for the chance to represent their countries and prove themselves on the world stage.