Former United States Olympic Team and current Arizona State head coach Bob Bowman has emerged as one of the vocal proponents of postponing the 2020 Olympics amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a column supporting postponement from the Associated Press’ Paul Newberry Tuesday, Bowman says that pushing the games back a year would “take a lot of pressure off” athletes who are struggling to find places to train.
“If they did postpone it, it would take a lot of pressure off this situation right now,” Bowman said. “People are scrambling. Most people are not training. If we had a little more time to get ready, that would probably be a good thing.”
Bowman stressed the importance of the current stretch of training in the lead-up to the Games, as well as having check-point meets along the way.
“This is the time when you’re hoping to see progression from one meet to the next, something that’s closer to the final product,” he said. “You’re kind of testing some things like race strategy. You want to see these little rehearsals for the big show.
“It’s probably more important than the training, to be honest,” he added. “That’s what makes the training so meaningful, when you’re able to learn something at the last meet and then go work on it.”
Overall, he pointed out that regularity is key to preparation, and that there’s currently no way of getting that — or of knowing what’s to come.
“What we all want to see while preparing for the Olympic games is sort of a predictable, regular rhythm to the competition and the training,” Bowman said. “That’s exactly what we don’t have right now. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but it’s definitely different. We’re in uncharted territory.”