- History & Culture
The Olympics' turbulent history in times of global crisis
As Tokyo postpones the 2020 Summer Games, some point to a 40-year curse to explain the Olympics' history of delays, boycotts, and turmoil.
Tokyo officials have announced that the 2020 Summer Olympics will be postponed by a year in the face of mounting fears over the coronavirus pandemic.
This is the first major disruption the modern Olympic Games have faced since 1944—and only world wars have ever brought the Olympic Games to such a standstill. But the global event is no stranger to turmoil: It has been subject to boycotts, bans, and even volcanic eruptions throughout its history.
In 1904, Rome won out over cities like Berlin and Turin to host the 1908 Olympic Games. But two years into preparations for the event, disaster struck: Mount Vesuvius erupted, causing serious destruction in the cities near the base of the volcano and paralyzing