Tokyo 2021: The IOC and the Japanese organizing committee are working hard at figuring out to handle this one-year delay, and talks of a ‘simplified’ Olympics have become prominent. What ‘simplified’ exactly means remains to be determined. Officials said that they plan to ask international sports bodies and national Olympic committees to “streamline” the games and reduce the total number of participants(yikes, also have fun with those lawsuits). They also have not ruled out reducing the number of fans(double yikes), although the competition schedule remained unchanged for now.
Paris 2024: During the IOC Executive Board meeting of June 10, it was agreed to maintain the previously set deadline of December 2020 to confirm the event programme and athlete quotas for the Paris Olympics. This next IOC EB meeting in December will see a decision made on requests from 20 of the 27 Olympic International Federations for changes to the Paris 2024 event programme, as well as the approval (or not) of the four additional sports proposed by the Organising Committee (Breaking, sport climbing, skateboarding, surfing). So, assuming FINA sent in a request for the addition of mixed duet, you’re telling me we should know by December if men will be allowed to compete at the Olympics in 2024?
Paris 2024: Aside from the event schedule and the quotas, the IOC has also highlighted four priorities for these Olympics: Reducing the overall athlete quota (including for all new sports) to 10,500(booooooooooo);Achieving gender equal participation across the Olympic Games at event and discipline level where possible (yay); Prioritizing new events that accommodate athletes within the sport’s existing quota allocation; New events only if there are existing venues. Assuming our quota doesn’t get reduced, either we get mixed duets, or we get Highlights/Combo added to the Olympics? Right? Right? (a girl can dream).
Russia v. WADA Update
As all of Europe got out of lockdown, so did the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). On June 2, the CAS announced it had set new dates for November (!) to hear the appeal by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency against the WADA sanctions — i.e. can they compete at the Olympics or not, and if so under what conditions. The appeal, now set for November 2 – 5 will be held behind closed doors.
Grazie Mille Italia
The Italian Swimming Federation has released a provisional schedule for all its sports and have rescheduled Italian Senior Nationals from August 6-9 in Savona. Do I want to cry at the fact that maybe we are going to get a competition before 2021? Possibly.
COVID-19 and Returns to the Pool
The Russian team returned to Round Lake on June 9, after all tested negative for the virus.
The U.S. national team returns to training on June 17, and it shouldn’t be too long for Canada either as its national training center (l’Institut national du sport) in Montreal has been given the green light to reopen.
Similarly, the Japanese National Sports Science Center (JISS) in Tokyo is set for gradual reopening throughout the month, and the national team should be able to fully resume training soon.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian Olympic Committee plans to send about 200 athletes to Europe to train for the next six-months, as the nation is badly affected by the coronavirus. Portugal is the first country confirmed that will welcome Brazilian athletes.
Tali Ostrovsky from Israel has announced her retirement on her Instagram. The 18-year-old joins the long list of departures for the nation, after Yael Polka, Emily Green and Gal Litman. We wish her luck for her future adventures!