Sunday, June 13, 2021

Athlete wellbeing at heart of Tokyo Olympic speculation

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Hockey Paper staff
Latest breaking news, previews and match reports written by Hockey Paper staff

Are they on? Are they off? Speculation around the staging of the already-rescheduled Olympic Games ramped up another notch last week.

Olympic hopefuls are currently having to train in lockdown with no elite matches against opposition in sight.

Amid this monotony are the reports over whether the Games will go ahead, some officials taking a negative stance and the IOC forced to come out with upbeat responses.

The raft of stories on the back of The Times‘ report that the Tokyo Olympics were in doubt – only for the IOC to deny it – left many athletes in a spin.

“Dangerous to lead people on without having it fully confirmed, especially for athletes like myself who are aiming for their potential first games,” Great Britain’s Brendan Creed wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the cancellation and denial stories left Ireland’s goalkeeper David Harte to admit “just how detrimental some writing can be to athletes’ mental well-being.”

There seems to be no let up. The IOC now appears to have doubled down on the vaccination issue, with athletes now set to be given priority in a bid to make sure the 2020 Games can go ahead at the second time of asking.

The will it, won’t it Olympic issue will continue for some weeks yet.

The Torch Relay is due to begin in late March, with 10,000 runners carrying the Olympic flame on its journey ahead of the July Games.

If the relay begins, it would herald a sign the Games will be staged.

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