Swimming In The Wake Of Richard Weinberger

Swimming In The Wake Of Richard Weinberger

Swimming In The Wake Of Richard Weinberger

WOWSA, Odaiba Marine Park, Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Notwithstanding calls both inside and outside Japan for a cancellation of the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics of July 23rd – August 8th 2021 due to the possibility of not adequately managing the coronavirus pandemic by next year, Swimming Canada continues to make plans for the potential restart of its national open water swimming team programs.

If circumstances allow – and depending on the revised qualification system to be announced by FINA and the reopening of training facilities by late summer/early fall, Swimming Canada plans to host an invitational camp on August 25th – 29th to bring top open water swimmers back together and reset for the year ahead as they return to their home programs.

Our swimmers have missed out on the opportunity to compete at an Olympic or Paralympic Games this year, so we are looking at the next best opportunities to bring them together to bond, train and compete at a high level,” said High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson. “We realize plans may have to change as the global pandemic situation continues to evolve, but we thought it was important to announce what our plans would be. We have been consulting with many of our top athletes and coaches and engaging them in this process, which is based on the best available information that we have right now.”

The Canadian Open Water Swimming Trials are now set for April 17th – 18th on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands.

The Olympic team would come together in May 2021 for a team training camp as was planned to be conducted at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre in 2020. Dates of departure for both teams to their staging camps in Japan, then transfer into Tokyo for the Games would also mirror the plans that were in place for 2020.

As swimmers and coaches adapt to the new normal, we are staying home to support the amazing efforts from our essential workers across Canada and also around the world. We will at some point move forward from this, so we are establishing plans and goals for what comes next to the best of our ability,” Atkinson said.

Swimming Canada and its plans going forward are a bit of very welcomed positive news amid the pessimistic announcements coming out of Japan and elsewhere – like some American universities telling their students of the possibility of calling off the next academic year and resorting to online classes until June 2021.

Steven Munatones commented, “It is great to see national governing bodies like Swimming Canada move forward under the assumption that the situation will improve and major domestic and international events, including the Tokyo Olympics, will be held as rescheduled.”

Photo shows Richard Weinberger, Canada’s only Olympic 10K Marathon Swim medalist in history, bronze in the 2012 London Olympics.

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Steven Munatones