School of Health and Society 23.03.20

Coronavirus: Tokyo 2020

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is to consider postponing Tokyo 2020 in light of the global coronavirus outbreak.

Chris Bramah, Physiotherapist and Researcher at the University of Salford, has extensive experience working with both recreational and elite runners. He has worked for Team GB supporting their endurance athletes throughout numerous championships including the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2017 London World Championships.

Chris comments: “It’s great to see the IOC finally making a decision to review the option of postponement of the Olympic games, albeit rather belatedly. 

“One of the core values of the Olympic games is the idea that athletes should strive for personal excellence. However with the continued spread of COVID-19, it seems that if athletes are to continue to embody this ideal, they must place the health and safety of both themselves and the public at risk. 

“With the games only four months away, this is an essential time for athletes to be training. However, current social distancing measures mean training venues are closed and access to support staff is restricted, limiting athletes' ability to adequately and safely prepare. At this time focus should be on global efforts to contain the spread of this virus, and less so on athletic performance. 

“Understandably, the decision around the postponement or cancellation of the games is an incredibly difficult one for IOC and Tokyo 2020, particularly due to the huge financial and economic implications this will have. However, they need to make athlete and public health a priority, and the longer they take to reach a decision the greater risk they impose upon the athletes and others.”       
 

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