The IOC, IPC, and Tokyo 2020 organizing committee have jointly released “The Playbook for Athletes and Officials” ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games. This is one of 4 playbooks being released on the IOC to share safety protocols ahead of the upcoming Games, in addition to ones released for International Federations, The Press, and Broadcasters.
The playbook covers the areas of: Test, Trace, & Isolate; Hygiene; and Social to prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Athletes, coaches, and support personnel are encouraged to avoid the three C’s: Closed spaces, Crowds, Close contact
Olympic participants, including athletes and coaches, will need to download Japan’s COCOA health reporting app and will need to provide a negative test result prior to leaving for the games. Athletes will also be testing upon arrival and at least every four days while in Tokyo.
Athletes will need to provide their own face masks and a list of anyone that they expect to have close contact with during their stay: ie roommate, coaches, teammates, and trainers. Those at the games will also need to “avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact such as hugs, high-fives, and handshakes.”
The Olympic village is the place where Olympians congregate, socialize, and get to know each other, and it often has a rowdy atmosphere. The new regulations and guidelines should dampen these expectations for new and returning athletes. Every Olympiad brings stories about the parties and free love happening in the village, including reports about the number of condoms available to athletes (a record 450,000 at the 2016 Rio Olympics). In 2012, Ryan Lochte was quoted as saying that 70 to 75% of athletes are having sex at the Games.
Athletes at the games are to avoid public transportation and use dedicated games vehicles only. They can only visit official venues and other designated locations. Athletes “must not visit gyms, tourist areas, shops, restaurants or bars, etc.”
Hygiene measures include many of the procedures that the world has grown accustomed to in the past year
- Wearing masks at all times except when training, competing, eating, sleeping, or are outside and can maintain the proper space of 2 meters from others
- Regularly washing hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and warm water
- Regularly ventilating rooms
- Avoiding sharing items with others
- Avoid “shouting, cheering, and singing” and show support by clapping
Included at the end of the playbook is a section on non-compliance:
Non-respect of the rules contained in this Playbook may expose you to consequences that may have an impact on your participation to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, your access to Games venues and, in some cases, on your participation to competitions. Repeated or serious failures to comply with these rules may result in the withdrawal of your accreditation and right to participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Multi-Olympic medalist and former world record swimmer Kristy Coventry serves as Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.