With the worldwide spread of coronavirus causing many sports events to be cancelled or postponed – from Paris half-marathon to WTS Abu Dhabi, not to mention large events like Geneva Motor Show – it is unsurprising that rumours are flying about the 2020 Olympics. 


While a final decision about the Tokyo Olympics is probably a few months away, we take a look at the times the Games have been cancelled and boycotted.

The first official modern Olympiad took place in 1896 and the first games to be cancelled was just 20 years later, the 1916 Berlin Olympics due to WW1. As a result of being blamed for the war Germany was subsequently banned from taking part in the 1920 and 1924 games, and they had to wait 20 years before getting the chance to host them again – and that was the infamous 1936 Games.

The 1940 games were to be hosted by Tokyo, but with WW2 in full swing they were never going to happen, even though at that point Japan were not part of the war. It would be 1964 before Japan got that chance again.