Bob Bowman Says Postponing Olympics to 2021 Would ‘Take a Lot of Pressure Off’

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.”

Since Bowman’s comments, former National Team director Frank Busch and Olympian Jacob Pebley have also supported postponing the Games.

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SwimmerFan901
1 year ago

Ultimately I think this would be the best decision, although I do hope all nations could host some sort of National Championships in July-ish. Would still be some CRAZY times thrown down if they’re the final meets of the year for all swimmers.

USATeamMom2
Reply to  SwimmerFan901
1 year ago

That is absurd. Crazy times come with incredibly fine tuned training that is precise in daily detail right up to releasing an athlete for performing well at Trials and the Games. If there are no pools, no gyms for 99.5% of the qualifying athletes, training is disrupted, condition falls dramatically and so does performance. Athletes cannot be out of the pool for even a few days let alone weeks…months…without dramatic implications.

SwimmerFan901
Reply to  USATeamMom2
1 year ago

Leave it to the athletes to make comments, Swim Mom. If you don’t think Caeleb Dressel’s gonna throw down a 46.7 100FR and 49.3 100FL in July no matter what meet, I can’t wait for you to be proven wrong. If he can throw down PBs then, any athlete should be able to. All about mindset and keeping active in the couple of weeks max that swimmers will be out of the pool (then still have 3/4 months of training to prepare when they should already be in damn good shape by now).

Kristiina
1 year ago

I want still Olympic with emtpy stands. Japan virus cases is very low still.

Kristiina
Reply to  Kristiina
1 year ago

Primary is tourists blocking. Olympic is only four years interval.

Kristiina
Reply to  Kristiina
1 year ago

China is nearly clean but not absolutely safe. Without public is still possible..

Snarky
Reply to  Kristiina
1 year ago

Kristiina must be Russian.

Ladyvoldisser
Reply to  Kristiina
1 year ago

Not a bad idea Kristina!!!! Olympics with no fans, competitors or officials!

itsyaboi
Reply to  Kristiina
1 year ago

Exactly… and we’d like to keep Japan’s cases that way…

Too cool for the pool
1 year ago

Listen to the goat

Ladyvoldisser
Reply to  Too cool for the pool
1 year ago

U mean Eddie Reese?

Coach
1 year ago

Beyond reasonable in extraordinary times. ✊

Snarky
1 year ago

Bob Bowman. Sanity.

Dbswims
1 year ago

I had a wild though, if this virus wasn’t here, we wouldn’t have these problem. So everyone needs to stop going out for the next 2-3 weeks for this virus to clear so we dont have any more of these problems. If it worked for China, it’ll work for any country.

Xman
Reply to  Dbswims
1 year ago

I don’t trust information from China.

Also it hasn’t been a 3 week solution there.

Dbswims
Reply to  Xman
1 year ago

They literally cleared almost all the cases there so Idk what ur saying. May not be 3 weeks but its almost clear there

Doconc
Reply to  Dbswims
1 year ago

Their data is highly suspect. They lie a lot!!

Vic
Reply to  Doconc
1 year ago

They do lie alot.

Xman
Reply to  Dbswims
1 year ago

1. They set up a quarantine in mid January
2. It took the government 6 to 8 weeks to admit to their people and the world that this was happening. In the meantime they were censoring jailing and killing doctors and scientists who were raising the alarms.

I dont trust the numbers China is providing. You have a communist government which controls information in and out of the country.

Russia is another case where the government is hiding the true numbers and spread of the virus.

Coach
Reply to  Xman
1 year ago

To be honest, the same can be said about American officials.

Ddb
Reply to  Dbswims
1 year ago

This virus is already mutating, which is why the death rate has risen close to 4% of reported cases. China is not clear yet. If a mutated strand finds its way back to China they could have another round of this.

Swimmom
1 year ago

It’s the responsible thing to do…eliminate the stressors that don’t need to be there.

Speed Racer
1 year ago

The economic impacts are going to also enter into the calculus. In the case of the US, Omaha has already lost the college World Series, you add Trials and the hospitality industry that was largely built up for these events will completely collapse.

swimfast
Reply to  Speed Racer
1 year ago

that may be true, but many companies and industries will suffer immensely, so that’s not really a reason to keep trials in Omaha in 2020. if anything, everything should be uprooted, and done what’s best for the athletes. if we need to go outside the box and host trials elsewhere next year, then i say go for it. it’s an absolutely crazy time, and it’s not our faults, but we do need to mend somehow…

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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