From #stopolympics...To Bring It On!

From #stopolympics…To Bring It On!

From #stopolympics…To Bring It On!

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Back in early March 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic rapidly impacting the world, Olympic podium swimming hopefuls in Europe and elsewhere were often having difficulties in finding places to train.

Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri, Mario Sanzullo, and Rachele Bruni are medal hopefuls in the men’s and women’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics 10 km marathon swim, but in March, things looked very grim, especially in Italy and other COVID-19 hotspots.

In response to the situation with a sense of fairness,’s Editor in Chief Federico Gross launched a #stopolympics campaign support a 1-2 year delay in hosting the Tokyo Olympics Games.

In order to manage the coronavirus pandemic and allow athletes to deal with the situation, Gross made his appeal (English translation provided by Martina Marraro), “Many Italian swimmers are riding all over the country desperately looking for a place to train. It’s an unsafe and unfair situation, that soon will replicate in whole Europe, America, Oceania. We firmly believe that the sport must stop worldwide now, helping the health organizations to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic. So we launched the campaign #stopolympics.

As the world knows, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were ultimately postponed a year.

Athletes had to deal with training without pools and many times without their coaches and support staff. Sometimes for days. Sometimes for weeks. And sometimes for months. The situation continued to look grim.

But how times have changed. Big-time. And the enthusiasm for the Olympics is growing, especially among fans of Paltrinieri who continues to have the very real potential to achieve the Mellouli Double in Tokyo – medaling in both the 1500m freestyle and the 10 km marathon swim in Odaiba Marine Park.

Paltrinieri not only recently swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle time in history in 14:33.10 in Rome – an amazing feat given the fact that he did not train earlier this year – but he also won the 10 km event at the Campionato Italiano Assoluto less than a week later in 1:52.09.7.

Assuming he missed a lot of training beginning in March and April, these times are incredibly fast, mind boggling fast,” observed Steven Munatones. “2016 Rio Olympic 10 km bronze medalist Marc-Antoine Olivier was 14.2 seconds behind Gregorio coming in second in a very impressive time of 1:52.23.9, given the fact that the training opportunities in France were also limited. What these swimmers will do in a flat-water, warm course in Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo next August is going to be scary fast.

These types of fast turnarounds between swimming a near world record in the 1500m and then winning a highly competitive 10 km race are exactly what Paltrinieri need to prepare for Tokyo. At the Olympics next year, he will race the 1500m final on August 1st and then compete in the 10 km on August 5th.”

Arianna Bridi, who trains with Paltrinieri under coach Fabrizio Antonelli, won the women’s race in 2:02.12.0 ahead of Giulia Gabbrielleschi in 2:02.13.5 and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Rachele Bruni in 2:02.17.2. The 5 km national championship races are held tomorrow.

Paltrinieri has the speed and endurance to win gold in the flat, warm water of Tokyo Bay,” says Steven Munatones. “Odaiba Marine Park is about as close to pool conditions as you can get which gives Paltrinieri a boost even if his actual open water swimming experience is not a deep as his top competitors. But he has Olympic experience and his gold medal in 2016 proves that he can come through under Olympic pressure.

For more information on’s #stopolympics campaign, visit here.

2020 Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers from 2019 FINA World Championships 10 km Olympic Qualification Race:
1. Florian Wellbrock (Germany) 1:47:55.90
2. Marc-Antoine Olivier (France) 1:47:56.10
3. Rob Muffels (Germany) 1:47:57.40
4. Kristóf Rasovszky (Hungary) 1:47:59.50
5. Jordan Wilimovsky (USA) 1:48:01.00
6. Gregorio Paltrinieri (Italy) 1:48:01.00
7. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands) 1:48:01.90
8. Alberto Martinez (Spain) 1:48:02.20
9. Mario Sanzullo (Italy) 1:48:04.70
10. David Aubry (France) 1:48:05.10

2020 Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers from 2019 FINA World Championships 10 km Olympic Qualification Race:
1. Xin Xin (China) 1:54:47.20
2. Haley Anderson (USA) 1:54:48.10
3. Rachele Bruni (Italy) 1:54:49.90
4. Lara Grangeon (France) 1:54:50.00
5. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) 1:54:50.50
6. Ashley Twichell (USA) 1:54:50.50
7. Kareena Lee (Australia) 1:54:50.50
8. Finnia Wunram (Germany) 1:54:50.70
9. Leonie Beck (Germany) 1:54:51.00
10. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands) 1:54:51.10

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