Are the Olympics ever skipped?

The 1940 and 1944 Games

Fast-forward a few decades and Germany finally got the chance to hold the games in Berlin in 1936. Meanwhile, the IOC declared an Asian nation as the future site of an Olympics. In 1940, Japan was slated to become the first country in Asia to host the games.

Rumor has it that Tokyo won the role of host city because of a bit of skullduggery. Michimasa Soyeshima, one of Japan's IOC members, reportedly met with Benito Mussolini and promised him the Japanese contingent's backing for the 1944 games to be held in Rome if he would weigh in on Japan's bid for 1940. He may have tampered with the opinions of other members, too. Of course, all this effort was for naught, as the 1944 games never happened either [source: Guttmann].

So what happened exactly? Again, the IOC refused the idea of moving the 1940 games, which became a matter of exacerbated controversy when Japan invaded China. Eventually, though, it became apparent that the games would not go forward. Martial law, at that point, ruled Japan, and decreed that the games were not going to happen. Similar circumstances afflicted the 1944 games, completely understandable given the carnage occurring at the time, and the Olympics would not again see the world stage until 1948.