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Olympics Canceled Due to Wars, but the Reverse Scenario Remains Largely Unprecedented

Despite the release of peace doves, a phantom Olympics to avenge battlefield defeat through sports, and several acts of Russian aggression, the hope for an Olympic ceasefire remains a historical recap.
French President Emmanuel Macron has announced his intentions to request Moscow to observe a ceasefire during the upcoming Summer Olympic Games. Vladimir Putin did not outright reject the notion, signaling back that he is "ready to consider any serious proposals," provided they are not made because "the enemy is running out of ammunition."

Russian diplomats added that they hope President Macron will issue a similar call to action towards Jerusalem.

The tradition of pausing wars during the Olympics dates back to ancient times, although its exact origins remain unclear. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) accepts the legend that Iphitos, the ruler of Elis, tired of constant warfare, agreed with leaders of rival kingdoms to observe a ceasefire every four years during the Olympics held in Olympia, as a time for peaceful sporting events.

Not just during the games, but also for seven days before and after, ensuring the safe travel of athletes, artists, family members, and pilgrims to and from the competitions.

The chances of reviving this beautiful ancient tradition for this year's Summer Olympics in Paris are slim. The impact of the war is felt in the IOC's preparations to introduce, or having already introduced, sanctions against athletes from Russia and Belarus, perceived as the aggressor states. For example, it appears certain that their teams will not participate in the opening ceremony, and it is possible they may not compete under their national flags either.

This would not be the first time that an armed conflict has cast a shadow over the modern Olympics, though historically, it was the games that were canceled, not the wars.

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