US Athletes Voice Their Support Over Olympic Postponement

Athletes all around the world, including Nathan Adrian, have been unable to find adequate training locations amidst the coronavirus outbreak, and they voiced their opinions to the USOPC on what should be done regarding that start date of the Olympic Games. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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Nearly 300 American athletes participated in a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) town hall meeting on Saturday. The two hour meeting followed calls from USA Swimming and USA Track & Field to advocate for postponing this summer’s Olympic Games in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused many sporting events around the world to be postponed or cancelled.

The Games are scheduled for a July 24 start date in 125 days and the International Olympic Committee has not stated what the fate of the summer Games will be yet, causing concern for athletes around the world. A decision is expected to be announced some time within the next four weeks.

At the end of the two-hour meeting, according to information from the USA Today, the athletes and members of the Athletes Advisory Council in attendance were asked three questions:

  • Do you support the postponement of the 2020 Olympic/Paralympic Games?
  • Do you support the 2020 Olympic/Paralympic Games going on as scheduled?
  • When are you comfortable with the IOC making a decision to hold, postpone or cancel the Games?

Seventy percent said they supported a postponement, with an additional 23% saying it would depend on the consequences.

Forty-one percent said they did not support the Games going ahead as scheduled this summer, with another 34% saying it was complicated and they needed more information.

As for when a decision should be made on the Games, 34% said as soon as the IOC has enough information while 18% said they wanted a decision now. Another 23% said no later than April 15.

“These conversations are definitely getting had,” swimmer Nathan Adrian said to USA Today. “They have to be examining best-case, worst-case and medium-case scenarios, and none of us know. That’s the most frustrating part about this.”

French health minister Olivier Véran has also stated he does not see France sending any athletes to the Olympic Games in Tokyo this July given the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Here are the latest updates regarding the IOC and the COVID-19 pandemic:

The coronavirus has caused many people around the world to be isolated in their homes, leaving athletes everywhere unable to find adequate places to train as they gear up for their respective Olympic qualifications.

If the Games go on as scheduled in July, that leaves a lot of athletes at a disadvantage who have not been able to find training time within the last few weeks.

Of the 31 athletes who responded to USA TODAY, 16 said their ability to train has been “severely” affected.

“I can’t really train at all right now,” said Olympic champion wrestler Jordan Burroughs to USA Today, who is trying to stay in shape by lifting weights and riding his Peloton bike.

“You can’t bike yourself and kettlebell yourself to a gold medal in Olympic wrestling.”

“I’m a lucky athlete to still be able to train. But for most athletes, it’s actually impossible,” hammer thrower Gwen Berry said to USA Today. “I feel the IOC is being really, really selfish in trying to push it. And there’s no need to push it.”

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