USA Swimming Asks USOPC to Delay Tokyo Olympics 1 Year Amid COVID-19

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2020

DES MOINES, IOWA - MARCH 06: Caeleb Dressel competes in the Men's 100 Butterfly heats on Day Three of the TYR Pro Swim Series at Des Moines on March 6, 2020 at the MidAmerican Energy Aquatic Center at the Wellmark YMCA in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

USA Swimming has called for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo to be postponed for 12 months because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The governing body tweeted a letter they sent to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee asking them to support their request to move this summer's games:

USA Swimming @USASwimming

USA Swimming respectfully requests that the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee advocate for the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. https://t.co/q5bhUwi05q

In the letter, CEO Tim Hinchey stated training regimes have been compromised by the pandemic, and the health and safety of athletes must come first: 

"Everyone has experienced unimaginable disruptions, mere months before the Olympic Games, which calls into question the authenticity of a level playing field for all.

"Our athletes are under tremendous pressure, stress and anxiety, and their mental health and wellness should be among the highest priorities."

According to Matthew Futterman of the New York Times, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said on Thursday the IOC are considering their options and will look at "different scenarios."

The opening ceremony is currently pencilled in for July 24, but with the majority of top-level sporting competitions, including several Olympic qualifiers and trials, cancelled for the months ahead, there's pressure to review and scrutinise the Olympics schedule.