Two major sports activities governing our bodies in the United States have asked for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to be postponed amid the growing coronavirus pandemic.
USA Swimming and USA Track and Area’s chiefs both sent letters to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee sharing their concerns about athletes and asking for the games, which are due begin in July, to be postponed.
However U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said in a statement that more clarity is needed earlier than making such a determination.
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“The USOPC has entire and total empathy for the athlete neighborhood as they manage the frightening stress and anxiety caused by the latest lack of certitude regarding the Tokyo Games,” Hirshland wrote. “We understand that the athletes have concerns about training, qualification and anti-doping controls, and that they want transparency, communication and clarity to the stout extent potential.”
Hirshland said that the committee has also heard from some athletes who want to make clear their alternative to compete in the games is now not always prematurely taken away “till we have better clarity.”
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She said that the U.S. committee is in communication with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee and has been following advice from the World Health Organization.
“They judge that it is far premature to make a final call on the date of the Games, and we judge that we must always afford them the alternative to gather more data and knowledgeable advice earlier than insisting that a determination be made,” the statement read.
Her response came after USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey asked for the games to be postponed by a year. In a letter posted Friday on Twitter, he said he has watched athletes “wrestle to find ways to continue to prepare and train” as the virus spreads across the globe.
“Our top precedence at Olympic Swimming has been, and will continue to be, the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, staff, volunteers and other individuals,” Hinchey wrote.
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“Pressing forward amidst the global health disaster this summer is now not the answer,” he wrote, adding that making every person’s health and safety a precedence is the “accountable thing to save.”
“All individuals has experienced unimaginable disruptions, mere months earlier than the Olympic Games, which calls into request the authenticity of a level playing area for all,” he continued.
USA Track and Area CEO Max Siegel expressed similar concerns, telling Hirshland in a letter also posted on Twitter that or now not it is hard for athletes to find a safe surroundings for training. He said moving forward with the Olympics in July “would now not be in the most efficient interest of our athletes.”
“We acknowledge that there are no ultimate answers, and that this is a very advanced and sophisticated determination, nonetheless this place at least provides our athletes with the comfort of knowing that they have adequate time to correctly prepare themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally to be able to participate in a safe and profitable Olympic Games, and that they can shift their focus toward taking care of themselves and their families,” he wrote.
The 2020 Tokyo Games are scheduled to begin July 24. The Olympic Flame arrived in Japan on Friday.
Minyvonne Burke is a breaking information reporter for NBC Information.