For any athlete, the Olympics stands out as perhaps the most testing sporting competition. For those who make it to Tokyo, this will mark an Olympic Games unlike any other, following the postponement as a result of the global pandemic that gripped the world in 2020. While athletes have had to contend with disruptions to the competitive calendar, ciprofloxacin hcl 250 mg tab the fact remains that for many these Games are fraught with anxiety. As the global coronavirus pandemic continues to claim victims around the world, the thought of going overseas to compete in what could just be the next identified super-spreader is a choice many are reluctant to make, regardless of just how many years of training went in to getting there.
Still, even despite the controversy surrounding the Tokyo Olympic Games, athletes competing now have the hard task of focusing on their event amidst the uncertainty that has come to encapsulate the world. Already, the International Olympic Committee has enforced precautions, including no mixing in the Olympic village, no fans from back home allowed into the stadium to cheer athletes on, and should an athlete fail a Covid test at any point, they will also be sent home. The pressure of competition has now been compounded by Covid restrictions and officials are growing ever more concerned about how athletes will cope mentally under such trying conditions.
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It’s led the British Olympic Association (BOA) to assemble a team of ten mental health experts and specialists. The team will head to Tokyo with British athletes in an effort to monitor their anxiety and stress levels. In a statement, the BOA explained, “We already took mental health very seriously but we recognise such [mental health] issues have never been more acute in everyday life. This mental health team is part of our preparation for what will be a very different Olympic Games.”
All team GB athletes and support staff will be fully vaccinated before departing for Tokyo, thanks to an agreement between the IOC and Pfizer BioNtech. But while the IOC has said it expects more than 80 per cent of Games participants to be vaccinated by the time the Olympics begins on July 23, it will be far from business as usual in the Olympic village. Rather than mingle with other athletes, Olympic competitors will be required to spend long periods of time in their rooms and avoid mixing with others. Meal times will be brief, with the Times reporting that athletes will be instructed to remain two-metres apart and vacate the area as soon as they’re finished eating.
When you consider the sense of alienation most of us have experienced isolating at home, the impact this could have on the psyche of athletes can’t be underestimated. It’s one thing for a gold medallist to reflect on their victory in their room, but for those who have made countless sacrifices and spent their whole lives training for one event, only to see their hopes dashed, going back to a room in a foreign country with limited support staff and no family or friends is incredibly concerning. We can only hope mental health experts do all they can to monitor the wellbeing of athletes and ensure that their mental health is a priority.
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