Tuesday, November, 29, 2022

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The sports world after the Corona crisis

Berlin – A sunny day in August 2021. The Olympic flame is burning in Tokyo. People are in a good mood, athletes jump, run, fight for medals, spectators cheer in the stands.


The German national soccer players have just recovered from the European Championship in twelve countries and are now training with their colleagues in the club – all together, all in one place.

Lewis Hamilton is preparing to replace Michael Schumacher as the most successful Formula 1 driver with the eighth world title. The whole world is spinning at a normal pace again. The Corona crisis of 2020 is above all a bad memory with many deaths, deprivations, and restrictions worldwide. The sport stopped and many wondered: What will it look like in the aftermath of the pandemic?

Will this sports day in August 2021 perhaps look very different from what was expected, even if there are no restrictions?


Back to the future, back to Tokyo. Even before the virus, people with protective masks were part of the metropolis like crowded subways. The International Olympic Committee and Japanese officials have long struggled with the shift, which had long been indisputable to others. It was a lot of money.


As the Corona crisis once again revealed what governs above all in sport. Professional football clubs, which otherwise only juggled with the millions, feared for their welfare, because some outstanding TV money had already been spent, but was in danger of stalling. Formula One teams that, after years of spending frenzy, were initially unable to agree even in the crisis to spend less than $ 175 million a year – excluding driver salaries.

But what is sport, what does it stand for? «Sport can be many things: tradition or trend. Individual or team. Voluntary work or profession », it says on the homepage of the German Olympic Sports Confederation. “However, it is always a platform for shared values ​​and passions. This is how sport brings people together – regardless of personal beliefs and requirements, of origin, gender or age. »

In ancient Rome, the emperor agreed to the people with “bread and games”. Sport has always been entertainment. And that is exactly what many are missing during the shutdown during the current corona crisis.


The good news is that “despite Corona in the sports society and people’s interest in exercise and sport, nothing will change,” predicts the future and trend researcher Anja Kirig. “But sport is already changing as a result of the pandemic. On the one hand, this applies to popular sports as well as professional sports as well as fan culture. » A lot of things are currently being turned upside down, which used to be a matter of course, and a lot of things that were unthinkable for many before Corona.

Playing sports in clubs is practically impossible in times of contact closures and exit restrictions. The importance of digital offers is growing. Be it online courses or interactive platforms. The trend is clear: sport is coming to people, but the measures taken to combat the further spread of the Sars-CoV-2 virus usually do not work any other way.

“In the future, it will be a matter of course that analog and digital offerings mix. It is a matter of involving those who cannot take part in a training course, of making offers, »explains Kirig in an interview with the German Press Agency. The either-or must and will dissolve. «It’s not about creating either digital or analog offers, but rather about combining the two sensibly. That will be one of the big tasks for the post-corona period in sports. »


Ever faster, ever further, ever higher, ever better, ever more successful – ever more greedy. Corona could also be a decelerator in sports. A return, also and especially in the billion-dollar football business. “The virus can go on for a long time, and it could also be that a lot of people who work in football have lost relatives. These are very elementary experiences that you have; Experiences of uncertainty, of being afraid, maybe you develop a different relationship with your own body, »explains philosopher and sports scientist Gunter Gebauer in a TEH interview.

Recognizing health as the greatest good. «The result is that you also win a slightly different sporting attitude. This impartiality and also the willingness to overexploit on your own body could be somewhat dampened by this crisis. That would be a guess, at least initially in popular sports. Some of it could get stuck in top football. Then these insane transfer fees are nothing more than delight the audience. »

Club managers, player advisors, they all expect a heavily slowed transfer market this summer. The income is scarce, nobody wants to spend a lot in these uncertain times. So is the corona crisis a long-term lesson? Reiner Calmund has his concerns there. “If normality returns at some point, the good intentions will probably be overturned. Then again: higher, faster, further », said the 71-year-old former manager of Bayer 04 Leverkusen to the Funke media group. How will it be with the solidarity that is currently being conjured up and is also practiced in many cases?


Sport as an entertainer needs its audience. Ghost games, ghost races – inevitably and in some sports at least better than nothing, as long as these can cover the missing audience revenue through their TV presence. Motivate viewers, drive viewers, viewers cheer.

And even more: When it comes to the stadium experience, it is not so important whether the club wins or always loses, «if the community culture can be experienced coherently. The fans want to be involved, to help shape it. We move out of the pure consumer, sprinkler and experience culture. Right now you can see very well how much creativity people have. This creativity also connects », says futurologist Kirig.

Connection despite distance. Philosopher Gebauer also expects that the impartiality or carelessness “with which the public has welcomed and followed mass events up to now” will be very subdued in the future. “After the Corona crisis, we will probably no longer have the same enthusiasm, willingness to indulge in these events, to be unconditionally interested in sports.”

Hardly any area is unaffected by the pandemic. “Every family will probably be affected by someone losing their job or money. This is something that will not only dampen the high phase in which we have lived in the past 30 years but will also largely end it, »fears Gebauer.

Spectators lying in their arms for joy, fans dancing, singing and laughing together, footballers who let their supporters touch them in the curves, Formula 1 stars who take selfies with strangers – all of the past?


Sport could think back. Everything a little smaller, more modest. The athletes are moving more into the foreground again. “From the perspective of the athletes, the question will be whether these formats, which are often geared towards performance and nations, will still be adequate in the future,” futurologist Kirig even says. «Despite national escapades, there is currently a unique community experience worldwide that can strengthen collective identity. Olympics and world championships should consider how they can adapt their concept so that athletes, athletes, and teams can prove themselves, but beyond yesterday’s parameters. » So you can look forward to the sunny day in August 2021 in Tokyo.



Qamar Munawer
Qamar Munawer
Editor Culture and Religion at The Eastern Herald. Studied Bachelor in Architect in Chandigarh, India. Collecting and writing newsworthy stories from around the world. I love to praise nature.



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