In more straightforward times, this weekend would have marked the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, the city having prepared to play host for a second time having also been home to the 1964 Games.
Held in October back then to avoid the high humidity of Japan's summer, the stars were the likes of Ann Packer, Joe Frazier and Bob Hayes, while Belfast boxer Jim McCourt won bronze after losing a controversial decision in the semi-finals.
McCourt's medal is just one of a host of memorable moments from Northern Ireland competitors at the Olympics.
1. Women's pentathlon was first added to the Olympics at those Tokyo Games of 1964 and, eight years later in Munich, Lady Mary Peters became Northern Ireland's golden girl in what was to be her third and final trip to the Games having previously finished fourth and ninth.
With German rivals Heide Rosendahl and Burglinde Pollak beginning the two-day competition as huge favourites, Peters needed to be at her very best and produced new personal highs in four of the five events. Having taken the lead with a huge throw in the shotput, she survived a tie for 17th in her least favourite event, the long jump, to carry an advantage into the concluding 200m where her points tally was enough to secure not only gold but a new world record.
The 33-year-old's homecoming brought her, via a gold Rolls Royce and then an open top bus, to Belfast's City Hall where she told the assembled masses: "I went for gold, I won gold and I've brought it back for you."
2. Jimmy Kirkwood and Stephen Martin were part of the Great British hockey side that triumphed at Seoul 1988. Having first been a part of the side that claimed silver at the EuroHockey Junior Championship, it had been a long journey for the pair. Seoul was to prove the side's crowning achievement; the victory over Germany in the final a momentous occasion. They are in the Irish Hockey Association Hall of Fame.
3. While the trio of Peters, Kirkwood and Martin are the only three calling Northern Ireland home to have won gold, there have been plenty more memorable moments at the Games. There was much more to come from Wayne McCullough after his silver medal at Barcelona 1992, but the future world champion was at his second Games in Spain having gone to Seoul not long after his 18th birthday where, as the youngest member of the team, the boy from the Shankill Road carried the Irish flag in the Opening Ceremony. More seasoned four years on, and having won a Commonwealth gold two years prior, he beat Nigeria's Mohammed Sabo in the quarter-finals to guarantee a medal before overcoming Gwang-Sik Li in the last-four despite a broken cheekbone. Even with that injury, and up against no less a figure than Joel Casamayor, he still managed to take the last round in his final defeat. Turning pro soon after, his exploits on the way to becoming the WBC world bantamweight champion with an unforgettable win over home favourite Yasuei Yakushiji in Japan would inspire a whole generation.
4. Forty years before McCullough, there was John McNally. Born in west Belfast in November 1932, the bantamweight won Ireland's first boxing medal at the modern Olympics, claiming silver at the Helsinki Games in 1952. Winning the Irish senior bantamweight title would see him qualify for Helsinki while he could hardly have asked for tougher preparation than when facing the American Golden Glove Champions in Dublin. Even still, Vincenzo Dall'Osso was expected to come out on top of their quarter-final only to be out-pointed by McNally. While the final would see him drop a controversial split decision to hometown favourite Pennti Hamalainen that left him in tears, his silver wasn't just a landmark for boxing but also represented a first medal of any kind for Ireland since 1932.
5. A Maghera dentist who only took up cycling in 2002 as a way to keep fit, Wendy Houvenaghel must qualify as Northern Ireland's least likely Olympic star. After rocketing through the ranks, she claimed a gold medal from the team pursuit at the World Championships before arriving in Beijing in 2008 but it was really her fourth place in the individual pursuit at the same competition that offered the strongest hint of what was to come.
At 33, Houvenaghel's silver medal was certainly one to cherish. Cruelly and controversially, Beijing was to be her only appearance at the biggest show of them all after she was left off the team for the London 2012 Games.
6. London 2012 would prove to be an unforgettable Games for those hailing from these shores with five medals brought back. The highlight came from Coleraine's rowing brothers Richard and Peter Chambers taking silver in the men's lightweight fours while their fellow rower Alan Campbell took bronze from the men's single sculls. There was to be dual success in the ring too where Belfast boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan won bronze.
7. That medal haul from 2012 bettered the mark from Melbourne 1956 where competitors from Northern Ireland claimed a silver and two bronze. Then, as in London, boxing would be central to the successes, Fred Gilroy and John Caldwell earning bronze at bantamweight and flyweight respectively. Thelma Hopkins was to go one better, claiming a silver in the high jump. Hopkins was already a Commonwealth and European gold medal winner, as well as an Olympian at Helsinki four years prior, by the time she made the trip to Australia.
8. London 2012, of course, was Barnes' second Olympic medal having also taken bronze from Beijing in 2008. That medal, the first by a Northern Ireland sportsperson since McCullough in 1992, saw the light-flyweight beat opponents from Ecuador and Poland before falling to double world champion Zou Shiming. "I'm just glad that I'm able to bring something home to everyone who has supported me," said the north Belfast man.
9. Barnes' success was the continuation of a fine tradition which Hugh Russell had previously helped forge. The flyweight won bronze at the 1980 Games in the Soviet Union, 'Little Red' battling his way through a quarter-final despite giving up seven inches in height to his North Korean opponent. He would lose to eventual champion Petar Lesov of Bulgaria and was left bemused when phoning home to be told that rioting in the New Lodge had appeared to cease only when his bout came on TV. A future British champion whose Ulster Hall fight with Davy Larmour went down in lore, Moscow would have a long-lasting legacy in more ways than one... it's where the now-renowned photographer bought his first camera.
10. Few Irish sporting stories are complete without tales of the diaspora. Bobby Kerr was born in Enniskillen in 1882 but his family emigrated to Canada when he was five. It was in the singlet of his adopted home that he would achieve incredible success at the 1908 Olympics in London. Running the 100m in 11 seconds flat was good enough for bronze but his crowning glory would come a day later, winning the 200m in 22.6 seconds. Having fought in WWI, he lived until 1963. Today, Bobby Kerr Park sits near where he and his family once lived.
While we'll have to wait that little bit longer for any repeat of such historic feats, now with less than a year to go until the rescheduled Games in Tokyo, the likes of Rhys McClenaghan, Ciara Mageean and Rory McIlroy will already be dreaming.