With the Tokyo Olympics still scheduled for a July 24 start, the Australian Olympic Committee is currently facing the monumental task of organizing pre-Olympic preparation for its athletes at a time where social distancing and isolation have become the norm.
With no end to this insight, and the very real possibility that restrictions will only continue to mount, how does one organise varied athletic plan often dependent on a significant amount of social mixing and contact when the opposite is required?
The Australian Olympic Committee’s Toyko Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman has been put in charge of solving this dilemma. In an effort to prepare for Toyko 2020, Chesterman stated that the aim of the AOC is currently to deliver athletes to the Olympics without COVID-19.
This requires providing adequate training environments while keeping athletes healthy and virus-free.
In an effort to provide this type of environment, the AOC is planning quarantine base camps around the country. Several sites are being considered including the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, who would enhance biosecurity measures at their facility.
However, due to the specific requirements of each sport, several camps will likely be needed. These camps, focusing on different sports, would be aimed to provide the required continued training regimen with the least risk of infection.
It is the hope that by isolating the 480 so athletes expected to participate at Tokyo 2020, this will give the greatest chance of optimal performance should the games go ahead. The AOC is planning on reaching into its 150$ million of cash reserves in order to cover the expenses of the quarantining.
Other plans being prepared to continue isolation during the games include flying the athletes to Tokyo via charter flights and possibly keeping them in a base camp in Japan to minimize the time spent in the Olympic Village.
No specific plans have yet to be announced by the AOC.