After a drawn out survey comprising over 4000 America Athletes in which nearly seven in 10 American Olympic hopefuls say they don’t think the games will be fair if held in July. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced earlier today that with this fact, the postponement seem to be the logical route.
A survey was sent by US Olympics over the weekend to more than 4,000 athletes for details on how the coronavirus pandemic has influenced their training and their feelings about the upcoming games; they received responses from 1,780.
Sixty-nine percent said they would feel comfortable competing in July if the World Health Organization — one of the groups consulting with the IOC — deemed it safe. But virtually that same number — 68% — said they didn’t think the Olympics would be fair under those circumstance.
The best explanation for that has been the massive disruption in training schedules, as athletes prepare for qualifying events this spring and summer. Other concerns were over unfair qualifying standards and the undermining of worldwide drug-testing protocols.
With city and state governments closing gyms and asking people to stay in their homes, fewer than one in 10 of the athletes said they can continue to train without any impact. And 65% said that continuing to train and prepare will put their health at risk.
Part of the hesitance, CEO Sarah Hirshland told The Associated Press on Sunday, was to get a clearer picture from athletes about their training conditions and their feelings. Armed with the data, Hirshland and board chair Susanne Lyons put out their strongest statement to date.
“It’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising, and we encourage the IOC to take all needed steps to ensure the Games can be conducted under safe and fair conditions for all competitors,” they said in a statement.
An IOC member, Craig Reedie, told The Associated Press that conditions in Japan and worldwide “clearly indicates the likelihood of postponement.” The decision will be made within four weeks, with IOC President Thomas Bach guiding the outcome.
Bach is scheduled to hold a telephone conference call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday, the Japanese government said.
Bach has taken the idea of a full cancellation off the board, and the American athletes agreed with that view: 93% said they preferred the option of postponing over canceling.