Olympics

‘Postpone Olympics': USA Track & Field, Swimming

Major USA sports federations formally requested the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to use its voice to advocate for postponement of Tokyo Olympics

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They are two of the big three Olympic sports: Swimming and Track and Field.

Now both of their national governing bodies, USA Track & Field and USA Swimming, say the Olympics should be postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Letters written by their respective CEOs to Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, urged the organization to listen to the concerns of athletes and advocate for a postponement in front of the International Olympic Committee.

San Diego is home to dozens of Olympic hopefuls in both Swimming and Track and Field who are currently seeing major disruptions to their training schedules due to the spread of COVID-19.

"I am fighting to balance my desire to be selfish and bend rules to train and my desire to be a team player by staying inside and doing my part to slow the spread of this virus," said 2016 Olympian and swimmer Jacob Pebley.

Pebley is one of a dozen Olympic caliber swimmers with "Team Elite", who had been training at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla under the direction of 2016 Olympic swim coach, David Marsh.

Marsh supports USA Swimming's proposal of postponing the Olympics for one year.

"I think it's common sense. I think right now this late, to think we're to have a global event in one small little space, I can't even fathom that right now," Marsh said.

The USA Track and Field postponement request did not include a time frame, but 3-time Olympian and gold medalist in the long jump Brittney Reese wants the Olympics pushed back just a few months.

"It won't be fair to a lot of athletes if they go through with it in August," said Reese, who worries about athletes who train primarily at colleges which have shut down.

Reese is still training part-time at the Elite Athlete Training Center, which has adjusted procedures to comply with government mandates.

Meantime, local swimmers are turning to ocean swimming as a way to prepare for the Olympics.

"I have been scouring Craigslist and sporting good stores to find strength and conditioning equipment to use in my apartment, but I haven't had any luck," said Pebley.

The U.S. Olympic Committee has yet to officially waver from a position that the games will go forward as planned.

The International Olympic Committee says it's still too early for any drastic measures to the current Olympic schedule.

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