Australia launches Covid-19 plan for athletes ahead of Olympics

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has launched a special project to assist Australian athletes manage difficulties associated with Covid-19 before, during and after the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

AOC officials revealed the initiative on Monday evening, calling it Project Wagasa — the Japanese word for umbrella, reports Xinhua news agency.

Athletes will be supported in keeping fit and healthy as they attend qualification events, pre-Games training camps, and the Games themselves, as well as returning to Australia.

“The Games are on and we are going to fulfil our promise. Our job is to ensure the sports can qualify their athletes with least amount of logistical difficulty and assemble the Australian Team next year to have their Olympic moment,” AOC Chief Executive Matt Carroll said.

“This is a huge project — factoring in the difficulties of travelling from Australia, safely competing and then returning home post-competition. All of this in the face of changing global travel restrictions, quarantine arrangements, event uncertainty and other variables.”

The AOC announced a partnership with health specialists Aspen Medical to provide tailored advice and services to assist in the process.

Chef de Mission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic team, Ian Chesterman said the safety of Australia’s high-performance athletes was of the upmost importance.

“The AOC has moved to be very proactive to be able to provide the best possible advice and safety net for our athletes and support staff as we prepare for the Games, and at the Games,” Chesterman said.

“I know that the IOC and the Tokyo organisers also share our commitment to provide a safe environment for all.”