It is not trivial to withstand the storm of doubt about holding the Olympics – 12/04/2021 – Edgard Alves

The hearts and minds of sportspeople in general would be on the verge of exploding awaiting the emotions of the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to open on July 23.

This should be the emotional picture of fans of sporting events at the moment. However, the world is going upside down with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The opening parade is still scheduled for July 23, at the Olympic stadium in the Japanese capital.

With 100 days remaining from this Wednesday (14) for the inaugural ceremony, the holding of the Olympics remains uncertain because of the pandemic.

This week’s event, however, carries strong pressure for a final stance by Japanese organizers and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) on the Games. Obviously, the manifestation of cartolage must be accompanied by an assessment by WHO (World Health Organization).

For the first time in its then 124-year history in the Modern Era, the Olympics were postponed last year, when the coronavirus caused the event to be rescheduled. It turns out that the pandemic continues to cause thousands of deaths in every corner of the planet.

Hence, the question arises: is it possible to bring together the elite of the world sport without risks to the health of the participants and to the millionaire gains of partners of the Games organization? The long-awaited response will come soon.

The athletes, who are the stars of the event, worked hard even under the pandemic hardships to achieve the best possible form – physical, technical and psychological – in the Olympic cycle that came after the Rio Games in 2016. There is no doubt that most of them have made or will make incredible efforts to reach the established indexes, the passport for access to the Games.

The postponement of 2020 has turned into a bucket of cold water in the dreams of hard-hitting candidates for the Olympic podium and even for those who, without a medal chance, have the magical opportunity to participate in the great party of world sport.

It is not a trivial task to withstand the storm of doubt about the realization of the Games and at the same time keep improving the form to compete at a high level. It requires enormous and exhausting effort, very much, and patience and mental balance.

Athlete is a human being, fulfills his workday (training and competitions), has a headache, stomach ache, catches the flu and colds, everything like his peers who look for the TV or the bleachers to enjoy sports or a distraction momentary, full of emotions and curiosities, but banal for many of them.

There is determination with such a confused horizon. The challenge is even more comprehensive and broad when it invades all fronts in the preparation of a delegation, with the terror caused by Covid.

Among the most sensitive aspects, this time one that has always been highlighted, and now has its priority expanded exponentially, is that of medical monitoring and security of the national representation, with hundreds of members.

The COB (Brazilian Olympic Committee) team is being planned for a total of up to 800 people, of which about 300 athletes (today 200 are classified). With Covid knocking on all doors, medicine needs to open its eyes so as not to miss a single detail and thus guarantee the total security of the delegation.

Ana Carolina Corte, 41, a Corinthians fan and a doctor of the main team of the club – say the male team, something rare for a woman in Brazilian professional football -, has also worked for eight years at COB. The last of them as coordinator of the medical sector.

The organization’s plans put it to work with 15 other professional colleagues in Tokyo. The health of the members of the “Brazilian mission” (Olympic jargon for delegation) will be in the care of this group, that is, in the proportion of more or less one doctor for every 50 travelers, with surveillance mainly directed against Covid. Some sports will also count on the reinforcement of their exclusive routine physicians.

Ana Carolina stated that several Brazilian athletes overcame mild contamination by the coronavirus. Until boarding, the plans include tests by all travelers. She also adds that the organization of the Games will not allow the displacement of members of the delegations, except for activities related to the event, such as training and competitions.

The coordinator has other reports of possible protocols, not yet detailed, which are being drafted by the organization of the Olympics. A definite example: the athlete must leave the accommodation in Japan and return to the country of origin no later than 48 hours after the end of his participation.

Relevant, and relevant, is another protocol due to the pandemic. If a competitor has a positive result in Japan (the organizers promise a lot of tests during the Games), his roommate, even though he is negative, will also be quarantined.

One participant eliminating the other, an unfortunate situation that can take a champion out of the event without him competing after years of dedication and dreams.

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