COLORADO SPRINGS — The Chief Executive Officer of USA Swimming wrote to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee requesting this year's games in Tokyo be postponed to next year, according to a tweet by USA Swimming.
Tim Hinchey III is addressing concerns on whether the health of "athletes, coaches, staff, volunteers and other members" would be impacted by the Olympic Games going forward in July 2020.
"Our athletes are under tremendous pressure, stress and anxiety, and their mental health and wellness should be among the highest priorities," Tim Hinchey III wrote.
On March 17, the International Olympic Committee announced it "remains fully committed to the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020." While the IOC says 57 percent of the athletes will participate, it says it will make changes to the qualifying process for those athletes yet to qualify.
"If it is available to them, and its a safe environment, and an appropriate environment, based off of local healthy official guidance, continue to do what they can to prepare themselves for competition," said Sarah Hirschland, the CEO of the USOPC, on Friday during a teleconference. "We know the schedules of our athletes have been significantly disrupted and as we are having to be creative and nimble in adapting our lives, we're asking athletes to do the same."
The expectation from the USOPC is for Team USA athletes to train from home in preparation for the Olympics as the training center in Colorado Springs is closed.
"There are no perfect answers, and this will not be easy; however, it is a solution that provides a concrete path forward and allows all athletes to prepare for a safe and successful Olympic Games in 2021," Hichey continued. "We urge the USOPC, as a leader within the Olympic Movement, to use its voice and speak up for the athletes."
Read the full letter below: