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A look back at Olympics that never were: 1916, '40 and '44

The Olympic Games have been canceled altogether only three times throughout history.
Credit: AP Photo/Jens Meyer
The Olympic flag flutters in the wind after the Nordic Combined team competition at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games had to be cancelled due to the strong wind in Pragelato Plan, Italy, Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006.

TOKYO, Japan — With more and more calls to postpone the Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus outbreak, it's worth noting that this every-four-years spectacle has been rocked before by traumatic events.

Three other times, the games were canceled altogether.

The 1916 Summer Games were supposed to be held in Berlin, but the First World War shelved those plans.

World War II halted the 1940 Games, which were initially set for Tokyo and Sapporo, Japan. The deadliest conflict in the world's history would also lead to the cancellation of the 1944 Summer and Winter Games. 

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