Madrid State Swimming Federation Faces Backlash Following Reopening Statement

“First will be athletes pertaining to the training center, the time is approaching for the remaining athletes,” a statement that quickly spread throughout social media channels and for which Madrid State’s aquatics governing body faced backlash.

Madrid’s Swimming Federation is facing backlash after they announced that athletes pertaining to the federation’s technical training center in the heart of Spain will be allowed to resume practice prior to nationally designated high-performance athletes.

This group of athletes alleges that they do not all fit in Madrid’s High-Performance Center due to social distancing guidelines. Many of these attend college in the U.S.

Per the Spanish Sports Council (Consejo Superior de Deportes, CSD), High-Performance Athletes (Deportistas de Alto Nivel, DAN) were allowed to resume training starting May 11, with some training centers reopening for their athletes.

“And for the High-Level Athletes (Deportistas de Alto Nivel, DAN) that do not fit at the Blume High-Performance Center? It seems as if there’s no room for us anywhere,” Cano’s reply reads.

In light of a downsize in the number of new confirmed cases and deaths related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two major High-Performance Centers were allowed to resume last Monday, May 18. The aquatics facilities were allowed to reopen following a request issued by the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN), which was approved by the Spanish Sports Council (CSD).

Both Madrid and Barcelona entered what is known as “Phase 0.5” last week, allowing for the reopening of some establishments, although gymnasiums are not allowed to reopen. Some of the nation’s major training facilities had already reopened Monday the week before.

Madrid’s specific training center for aquatics won’t be allowed to reopen until Madrid officially moves onto Phase 1 in the de-escalation process, which will take place next Monday, May 25.

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