Swimmers Concerned About Threat of Canceling Olympics Over Coronavirus

chad-le-clos-coronavirus
Chad Le Clos Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Editorial content for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games coverage is sponsored by GMX7.
See full event coverage. Follow GMX7 on Instagram at @GMX7training #gmx7

gmx7-logo

Some of the top swimmers in the world are speaking about the concerns of the coronavirus and its affect on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. After all, Olympic athletes train for four years for this stage, and that could be taken away if the coronavirus is still a deadly factor around the world.

More than 80,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus and more than 2,700 killed since the outbreak began in China. Most of the deaths have come in China, but five deaths in Japan have been attributed to the coronavirus as it has spread to other countries around the world.

Former International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice president Dick Pound said earlier this week that the Olympics could be canceled if the coronavirus isn’t contained within three months of the games, which are scheduled to begin on July 24.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszú, South Africa’s Chad le Clos and Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström spoke with The Associated Press about it Wednesday.

“Of course, it’s definitely on my mind,” Sjöström told the AP. “We are reminded about it every day. I read the news. It’s a bit scary.”

It is adding a mental strain to the preparation for Olympic athletes and hopefuls.

“I see the news, but in my mind I’m prepared until it’s on. So I have to be ready,” Hosszú told the AP. “I really can’t even imagine having the Olympics canceled. For athletes, it’s a nightmare. That’s our life — preparing for the biggest event in swimming.”

The amount of personal interactions the Olympic brings is an added concern, le Clos said.

“We have to just not shake too many hands, not touch too much stuff,” le Clos told the AP. “It’s a terrible thing that’s happened. Hopefully it can get cured soon and we’re going to proceed to the Olympics.”

The 2016 breakout of the Zika virus in Brazil had similar concerns, though despite infecting thousands, it was not a widespread deadly virus. Organizers, who called a press conference Wednesday to allay cancellation fears, are focused on preparation just as the athletes are.

“Our basic thoughts are that we will go ahead with the Olympic and Paralympic Games as scheduled,” Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said. “For the time being, the situation of the coronavirus infection is, admittedly, difficult to predict, but we will take measures such that we’ll have a safe Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Read the Associated Press story here.

45 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
avatar
2 years ago

they can postpone for next year

avatar
2 years ago

It will definitely be canceled

avatar
2 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Jenkins

Thomas Jenkins agree.

avatar
2 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Jenkins

Thomas Jenkins yep

avatar
Anonymous
2 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Jenkins

Please Cancel Tokyo

avatar

All that hard work.

avatar
2 years ago

I’d much rather see the games postponed, other than many prime athletes taken seriously ill. Not worth the risk of bringing so many people together and not knowing who’s a carrier or sick

avatar
2 years ago

Ginny Sadowski Jantz That is exactly what I said. While it may knock out some who are at the end of their careers it might be the better option.

avatar
2 years ago

Liz Hudson I wholeheartedly agree. When training that hard, even tapered, there bodies might not proper immunity levels to ward off a strong virus

avatar
2 years ago

Ginny Sadowski Jantz they cannot postpone it takes years to plan which is why someone from the Olympic committee said they would cancel

avatar
2 years ago

Ginny Sadowski Jantz canceling the games would not be because of the concert for the athletes they stay in the village they have access to great healthcare every team takes their doctors and all their medicines, the athletes are in the prime of health. The concern is about the millions of people coming from all over the world to meet in the same place and often contained in small venues in the exposure that give to those there.

avatar
2 years ago
avatar
2 years ago

It sucks, dying would be worse

avatar
2 years ago
Reply to  Max Howard

Max Howard Young healthy people in normal people are not dying from this period it is nothing more than a glorified flu. The ones who are dying are the same ones who die with flu, elderly and compromised immune systems. That’s a tiny percentage of the population. The only reason the mortality rate seems higher is because less people have this virus than the flu. Once it spreads the way flu does, more people get it and that number of deaths will go down. Ultimately the mortality rate is going to be nothing more than the same as flu. This is much ado about nothing

avatar
2 years ago
Reply to  Max Howard

Kimberly Joy, hope you’re right. My friends who are doctors have given a different view. In my life, I haven’t panicked or even been concerned about a single epidemic. I don’t get sick often and usually recover quickly. I think it’s chlorine. But I have followed an ambulance with my then 3 year old daughter when she had swine flu. She recovered, but it was pretty close for a bit. One difference between coronavirus and flus we are used to seems to be that it’s possible to be sick and die without having overt symptoms. There’s a lot we don’t know. Will be happy to be proven silly for bringing it up.

avatar
2 years ago

Timing of the competition so critical to swimmers. More so than other sports.

avatar
2 years ago

Sara Harbison Mackay nahhh, periodization is well overblown, nowhere near as important as the majority of factors that effect performance. Once every 4 years? Pfft

avatar
2 years ago

Sighs well idk but hopefully it will be soon

avatar

Why concerned? It is a worldwide health issue ???

avatar
2 years ago

Zachary Kelley Guy Kelley we were just talking about this

avatar
2 years ago

Didn’t this happen before?? With a different flu strain… or sickness…

avatar
2 years ago

Nicole Sturdevant , H1N1

avatar

read the latest story that says they would likely NOT postpone and would be more likely to cancel. That would be a a huge bummer but not dying from this crazy virus is much better.

avatar
2 years ago

Karin Knudson O’Connellhealthy people in normal people are not dying from this period it is nothing more than a glorified flu. The ones who are dying are the same ones who die with flu, elderly and compromised immune systems. That’s a tiny percentage of the population. The only reason the mortality rate seems higher is because less people have this virus than the flu. Once it spreads the way flu does, more people get it and that number of deaths will go down. Ultimately the mortality rate is going to be nothing more than the same as flu. This is much ado about nothing

avatar
2 years ago

Kimberly Joy wow. That’s kinda harsh? We don’t know the full extent of this virus or how it will mutate. I, for one, would not risk worldwide pandemic for the Games. It is absolutely devastating for the Olympic community. Hoping for a cure so this is a non issues.

avatar

They wont cancel the Okympics. This appears to all be political at this point. Thousands more people have died from the flu & related illnesses this year.

avatar
2 years ago

Charlotte Cusachs Bujoreanu numbest wise yes. Percentage wise. Not even close.

avatar

Eric Jones true, but with the temperature increases, the virus should die off like the previous SARS CoV have in the past. This varient of CoV is less deadly than SARS was in previous years.

avatar
2 years ago

I hope everything will go as planned.The swimmers and all Olympic athletes all have worked hard to reach the world stage.

avatar
2 years ago

Health above fame

avatar
2 years ago

Mas se han muerto de Malaria, Influenza y otras enfermedades. ¿A quien mata el Covi19? Cada vez que publiquen un muerto. Revisen la edad y si estaba sano antes de contraerlo.

avatar
2 years ago

I hear Atlanta, Omaha and Indy are beautiful that time of year….

avatar
2 years ago

Why can’t they move it to Sydney where the 2000 Olympics were? I understand that there’s a big concern of getting the virus but would moving it somewhere there isn’t many cases reported?

avatar
2 years ago

Leslie Cichocki From what I’ve heard it’s less of a concern of the location and more a large number of people coming to a single location for the Olympics. It only takes 1 infected person for the disease to be transmitted to many others and if many were infected and then returned to their home countries before discovering they are infected, it could significantly increase the number of areas and people infected with the virus.

avatar
2 years ago

Chlorine kills everything.

avatar
2 years ago

I would be too, but honestly, I would not be holding the Olympics in any Asian country. It needs to be canceled or held elsewhere

avatar
2 years ago

Same thing happened in Rio and many olympics before … it will be okay!!!

avatar
2 years ago

Just like RIO I felt the Olympic Committee should also have a secondary host…

avatar
2 years ago
Reply to  Ja Bounce

Ja Bounce Sadly in this case I don’t think it would matter. If this spreads into a pandemic then you’d have to host it in Antarctica then. But even that probably wouldn’t work.

avatar
2 years ago

Life is more important than sports.

avatar
2 years ago

Yes, I hope all the swimmer and athletes will be able to participate! ????‍♀️?

avatar
2 years ago

It is not a question of place it is a question of having so many people and athletes together that might make a new cluster!

avatar
2 years ago

??

avatar
2 years ago

I hope it will still go on the olympics