Australian Athletes Advised to Prepare for 2021 Games

Home > Blog > Olympics > Australian Athletes Advised to Prepare for 2021 Games

*UPDATED: Mar. 24, 2020*

Three days before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially postponed the Tokyo Games, Team Australia began preparing for the inevitable.

On Sunday, Mar. 22, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) instructed its athletes to prepare for a Tokyo Olympic Games in the summer of 2021, not 2020. The missive was released following the IOC’s announcement on Sunday of a potential postponement of this year’s Games and Team Canada’s declaration that no Canadian athletes would be sent to the 2020 Games due to COVID-19 risks.

“The AOC believes our athletes now need to prioritise their own health and of those around them, and to be able to return to the families,” read the statement by the AOC.

AOC Chief Executive Matt Carroll said the decision was based on the need for certainty when preparing for a major championship and the desire to do the right thing for athletes, their families and the world community:

“We have athletes based overseas, training at central locations around Australia as teams and managing their own programs. With travel and other restrictions this becomes an untenable situation.

“The IOC had adopted the key principles of putting athlete health first and ensuring it acted in their best interests and the interests of sport. This decision reflects those principles.

“We are now in a position where we can plan with greater certainty.”

According to Australian Team Chef de Mission for Tokyo Ian Chesterman, it’s a decision supported by their athletes. Chesterman received feedback from athletes from more than 25 sports last week.

“It’s clear the Games can’t be held in July. Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing, but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them.

“They have also shouldered the burden of concern for their peers around the world. That has been a consistent message to me.

“While there will still be much to work out as a result of this change, the timing will allow athletes from around the world to properly prepare with the hope the coronavirus crisis will be under control.

“We are aware that for many such a postponement will present a range of new issues. But when the world does come together at the Tokyo Olympic Games they can be a true celebration of sport and humanity.”

Two days later, on Tuesday, Mar. 24, the IOC followed suit with an official postponement of the Games.

No new dates have yet been set for the Games.


Sports & Racing


Sports
April 8, 2020

McLain Ward vs Kent Farrington: The Push Up Showdown

With COVID-19 cases in North America soaring to nearly a third of the global total this week, you'd be forgiven if you're feeling a little stressed right now. And if,...
Sports
April 6, 2020

Kathy Kusner, Equestrian Rebel

Kathy Kusner is celebrated in American history for her show jumping prowess. Born in 1940 to a family of modest means and zero horse connections, she was an unlikely candidate...
Sports
April 3, 2020

Confessions of a Polo Groom

Polo: the game of kings. We've all seen it depicted on TV at some point—gorgeous horses galloping madly after a tiny white ball, players swinging cane mallets, while spectators clad...
Sports
March 27, 2020

3 Online Horse Shows to Help Fill the Self Isolation Hours

The [horse] show must go on online! COVID-19 restrictions have led to the cancelation or rescheduling of competitions nationwide. But, a new trend is rising in their absence—online horse shows....
Racing

Haru Urara: Japan’s Lovable Loser

"Winning isn’t everything; it's the only thing."  Henry Russell Sanders, UCLA Bruins Coach 1950 “Do your best” Ganbatte (Japanese) Ever since Commodore Perry’s “black ships”—so-called because they belched black smoke...
Sports
March 24, 2020

Canceled by COVID-19: How Event Organizers Are Coping

COVID-19 restrictions have led organizers to cancel equestrian competitions and other events nationwide—but at what cost? We caught up with Derek Braun, founder and president of the Split Rock Jumping...