Geneva-On the second day of the Swiss team’s request for negotiations on the possible postponement of the Beijing Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Olympic Committee promised global officials on Wednesday that the Winter Olympics will proceed as planned.
The Swiss Olympic Committee stated that the International Olympic Committee promised to hold the next month’s event during a video conference call with the team.
The Swiss team said in a statement that the International Olympic Committee also promised to conduct a case-by-case evaluation of athletes who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19 before heading to China.
“The issue of postponement is no longer relevant to all of us,” Swiss team leader Ralph Stockley said in a statement.
The International Olympic Committee hopes to avoid a second consecutive postponement. The Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled to be held in 2020, have been postponed for one year. The decision was made four months before the scheduled opening ceremony.
However, in an interview with Swiss TV on Tuesday, due to the increasing number of athletes infected with COVID-19, Stockley raised concerns about the hosting of the Beijing Olympics.
“We have to really discuss the possibility of postponing the Olympics,” Stockley told French-speaking broadcaster RTS. “If we don’t have the best athletes, it will be very, very difficult.”
After listening to the opinions of the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday, the Swiss Olympic team stated that it is “very happy that we now have some certainty on this issue.”
Another Swiss concern that eased on Wednesday has to do with the waiting time before athletes are allowed to enter China after recovering from COVID-19 infection. The Swiss team stated that the International Olympic Committee and Chinese organizers announced that an international team of experts would evaluate individual cases and deal with problems in a “more flexible way.”
“This is a positive sign,” Stöckli said. Otherwise, given the current high incidence, “we have to assume that many athletes who are no longer at any risk of infection will be deprived of their dreams of participating in the Olympics.”
Despite this, the team still pointed out that the conditions for playing, qualifying and preparing for the match at the opening ceremony, which was only 30 days before February 4th, were “very harsh”.
Stockley admitted on Wednesday that athletes who were ultimately unable to compete “may be disappointed.”
Organizers in Beijing and the International Olympic Committee are creating a health and safety bubble for the Olympics, imposing stricter testing and travel and movement restrictions than last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
The rules include quarantining athletes, officials, and workers who have not been fully vaccinated for 21 days, even daily testing of vaccinated people, and keeping local staff within a safe range.
Although tickets to watch the game in the stadium will be sold to people living in China, international fans are once again turned away.
Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.