Source: New York – Reuters
On Friday, the American Swimming Association called for the Tokyo 2020 Games to be postponed for a year, hours after the American Olympic Committee called on its athletes to continue preparations amid the outbreak of the Corona virus.
In a speech to the International Olympic Committee, the American Swimming Federation expressed concern that it had joined many of the world’s growing calls to postpone the Games.
“The most righteous and responsible choice is to put everyone’s safety and health first and foremost to acknowledge the great harm this global epidemic has caused to the athletes’ preparations,” Tim Henshey, president of the American Swimming Federation, said in a speech to the US Olympic Committee.
More than 250,000 people have been infected with the epidemic, which has claimed more than 10,000 lives and caused the stalling of sporting competitions worldwide.
Despite the global health crisis, the International Olympic Committee insists that the Games be held on time between July 24 and August 9.
Earlier, the US Olympic Committee invited its athletes to continue preparing for competitions while adhering to all appropriate precautions.
Sarah Hirschland, chief executive of the American Olympic Committee, said that the Olympic Games qualifications were badly damaged, adding that the committee is trying to adapt to the conditions in preparation for the games.
“We encourage everyone in our society to put his and her safety first and foremost and abide by the recommendations of local health officials above all,” Hirschland said in a conference call after a meeting of the US Olympic Committee. “We also invite athletes, whenever there are facilities available and safe and work in an appropriate environment based on the recommendations of health officials, to continue preparing as much as possible for competitions. We know that training times for athletes have been severely damaged and since we have to be creative in adapting to current conditions we ask athletes to do something Same with putting their safety in the first place. “
Hirschland acknowledged that the outbreak of the Corona virus had caused great harm to the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers. She added that this situation is likely to continue.
“Our teams work closely with all national sports federations and the rest of the athletes in every field to determine how Olympic teams will be selected and the criteria for selecting those who qualify for the games,” she added.