Daily Testing and Dealing With Uncertainty, Unknowns And The Unexpected At The Tokyo Olympics

Daily Testing and Dealing With Uncertainty, Unknowns And The Unexpected At The Tokyo Olympics

Courtesy of WOWSA, Odaiba Marine Park, Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic athletes, coaches, officials and staff will be under unprecedented restrictions at any Summer or Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in history. The guidelines and requirements are part of the global precautions used to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 among the Olympians and local community in Tokyo.

The participants will have to undergo:

  • Participants will be tested daily for COVID-19 daily
  • Participants will be transported from the Olympic Village to their venue and back. There will be no exploring Tokyo or visiting other Olympic venues to support their teammates in other sports.
  • Participants cannot visit Tokyo or enter the Olympic Village earlier than five days before their events.
  • Participants must return to their home country within 48 hours after their last event. So, in the case of pool swimming and the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, the swimmers may not be able to see all of their swimming teammates compete due to the length of the swimming events.
  • Limitations of the number of spectators will be decided in June.
  • Foreign participants will be tested for the virus twice before their departure from their home country.
  • 30 local hospitals in Tokyo will be prepared to offer medical care to participants during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Emergency policies are currently under effect in Japan and includes the closure of large commercial facilities, theme parks, karaoke bars, and restaurants that serve alcohol have been asked to close. However, the IOC and the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee have not required vaccination a requirement for Olympic participants.

The Olympic athletes have faced a year-long delay, interrupted training due to lockdowns and quarantines, the general limitations and restrictions brought about due to the ongoing pandemic, and issue of high heat and humidity, and now these various COVID-19 countermeasures from daily testing to dealing with jet lag due to the 5-day restriction regarding entry into Tokyo,” observed Steven Munatones. “It is unprecedented since the Olympic Games were cancelled all together in the 1940s due to World War II. But when I think about the hurdles that the Olympic athletes have to face, I imagine that there are no more well-prepared athletes for changes and interruptions than marathon swimmers. Suddenly, the heat and potential pollution of the water in Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay are just two issues for the swimmers to juggle.

Open water swimmers frequently deal with the unexpected. Swimmers normally face uncertainty and unknowns. These are dynamic situations and circumstances that marathon swimmers have to overcome all the time. Uncertainty, unknowns, unexpected: these are all part of the equation of being a marathon swimmer.”

Copyright 2008 – 2021 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Steven Munatones