Per his editorial report on the Xing network this week, German Olympic swimming champion Michael Gross stressed the importance of vaccinating athletes in preparation for this summer’s postponed Olympic Games.
Gross, who took double gold in the 200m free and 100m fly at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles and additional medals in Seoul, conveyed that ‘it would be an illusion to test [for COVID-19] every day or to create an effective bubble’ akin to what was put in place for the NBA as well as the International Swimming League (ISL) in Budapest.
As it stands right now, COVID-19 vaccines are not set to be mandatory for athletes attending the Tokyo Olympic Games, although they are highly encouraged, per International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates.
Gross continued in his piece, ‘vaccinating athletes is the only way to create fair conditions’, referring to a number of countries that are implementing vaccination programs for elite athletes.
56-year-old Gross offered up a suggestion that German citizens could ‘donate their vaccination’ privileges to athletes.
“One suggestion,” he said, “other people entitled to vaccinations could “donate” their prerogative to athletes. An unusual idea in an extraordinary time. I would be ready to do so if there was a chance. Because I know too well what it means when a lifelong dream bursts through no fault of my own. With two small stitches in the arm, there would be a chance of Tokyo 2021 and a healthy return for everyone involved.”
‘Some officials blame shaken trust among members of the public, following statements by political leaders and incorrect press reports questioning the vaccine’s efficacy. Others point to a dysfunctional rollout plan that has failed to invite enough people to make vaccination appointments.’ (NBC News)