“In my very humble option, I really do feel the Olympics should be canceled… And I think the USOC should be the leader on that,” says Busch in an article by the Tucson.com.
While the IOC has said that it plans to go forward with the Olympics beginning on July 24th as planned, Busch believes they should take place in 2021 instead. With the infrastructure already in place and so many swimmers’ and teams’ training interrupted by pool closures, Busch believes the USOC and Olympic broadcaster NBC should mount a campaign to postpone the 2020 Summer Games.
“We could go to Tokyo next year,” continued Busch, “Just postpone it a year; all the facilities will be there. Everybody could take a couple of months off now to allow this country and the world to get past this tremendous health challenge. It would just make so much sense if the USOC would take leadership and then, obviously, NBC.”
Many collegiate and professional swimmers are now training from home, though some are still trying to find solutions nearer their university training centers.
“I spoke to a coach who has several Olympic medalists and they are now using a three-lane pool at a YMCA in Florida,” says Busch. “I have no idea how you can properly prepare for the Olympics using 25-meter community pools.”
The United States Olympic Training Center (OTC) closed Wednesday on state orders as the coronavirus continues to push people into relative isolation as social distancing ramps up, sending home a handful of US National Teamers and National Junior Team members. Furthermore, USA Swimming extended its moratorium on swim meets until at least April 30th and FINA postponed diving and artistic swimming Olympic qualifying events until June.
“Why not just take the pressure off our athletes and allow people to get the hell away from everything for a couple of months?” says Busch. “It doesn’t make sense to worry about whether you will qualify for the Olympics or not when there are far more important issues in the life of every person.”
Arizona State Head Coach Bob Bowman also stated that he believes postponing the Olympics one year and making them officially “Tokyo 2021” is, given the many interruptions athletes are facing with training, the best thing to do.
“If they did postpone it, it would take a lot of pressure off this situation right now,” said Bowman in an article by the Associated Press. “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.”
If the Tokyo Games were pushed to next summer, then FINA would have to skip the 2021 FINA World Aquatics Championships, which are set for Fukuoka on the Japanese island of Kyushu, south of the main island, Honshu, where Tokyo is located.
Were the Olympics pushed to 2021, FINA could shift each of its scheduled World Aquatics Championships hosts back by two years. At present, the next four World Championships are scheduled for Fukuoka (2021), Doha, Qatar (2023), Kazan, Russia (2025), and Budapest, Hungary (2027). The 2029 World Aquatics Championships have not yet been decided.