Pro German Team ONEflow Aquatics “Suspends Pursuit” Of 2020 Olympic Cycle

ONEflow Aquatics, a professional swim team out of Germany, has opted to “suspend the pursuit of the current 2020 Olympic cycle” amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus across the globe.

In a letter from ONEflow CEO Christian Hirschmann, the team recognizes the COVID-19 pandemic as “the biggest challenge for humanity since the second world war”, and that with the health and safety of everyone involved in mind, along with varying training conditions for athletes all over the world, the team is shutting down its training for the Tokyo Games.

“With a heavy heart, ONEflow Aquatics will suspend the pursuit of this current 2020 Olympic cycle and will start pursuing the future Olympic cycle,” writes Hirschmann. “The uncertainty of training quality and
fairness to all athletes globally, we push for a change in the current operations and take a stance to put health and safety of all above swimming.

“The top priority of ONEflow Aquatics is to keep every athlete, coach and staff member healthy and safe. The crisis we are in is bigger than swimming and sports, so with this stance we must take action to limit the risks of the athletes and individuals in our community.”

While ONEflow has suspended operations as Germany has all but shut down, banning public gatherings greater than two people on Sunday, the team members who are on the German National Team have resumed training in Heidelberg along with other national team members.

This “is contradicting our belief as a team,” says ONEflow Director of Operations Peter John Stevens, a Slovenian breaststroker who also trains with the club.

“The other participants on our team cannot train at all,” said Stevens. “We are disheartened that (the) national team is still pursuing swimming at this moment and putting the greater good at risk.”

The team consists of 13 athletes, with seven of them on the German National Team.

    • Annika Bruhn (German National Team)
    • Celine Rieder (German National Team)
    • Aleksi Schmid (National team of Switzerland)
    • Daniel Pinneker (German National Team)
    • Peter John Stevens (Slovenian National team)
    • Maximilian Ziemann (German)
    • Nadine Laemmler (German National Team)
    • Fabian Schwingenschlögl (German National Team)
    • Henning Mühlleitner (German National Team)
    • Bente Fischer (German)
    • Fynn Minuth (German National Team)
    • Marlene Hüther (German)
    • Franziska Weidner (German)

Annika Bruhn and Fabian Schwingenschlögl are the only two athletes on the team who represented Germany at the 2019 World Championships, while Stevens represented Slovenia.

FULL LETTER FROM ONEFLOW AQUATICS

“The Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic is the biggest challenge for humanity since the second world war. The pandemic is affecting the life of every individual, the global economy and the world of sports. With such uncertainty, fear and an indistinguishable timeline of the virus, we must push to make safety the number one priority in the sports industry. During this time the world of sports is ranked in a subordinate role, because the overall health and safety of humanity should be the top priority.

The top priority of ONEflow Aquatics is to keep every athlete, coach and staff member healthy and safe. The crisis we are in is bigger than swimming and sports, so with this stance we must take action to limit the risks of the athletes and individuals in our community.

With a heavy heart, ONEflow Aquatics will suspend the pursuit of this current 2020 Olympic cycle and will start pursuing the future Olympic cycle. The uncertainty of training quality and fairness to all athletes globally, we push for a change in the current operations and take a stance to put health and safety of all above swimming.

In the role of the CEO of Rath Group and ONEflow Aquatics, I feel compelled to prioritize health over sports during this difficult time.”

The originally scheduled July 24 start date for the 2020 Olympics has become increasingly-unlikely as both Canada and Australia have declared they won’t participate in a Games that starts in the summer.

Germany has the fifth-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world with 27,289, while its 115 deaths give it the lowest mortality rate of countries most severely hit by the pandemic.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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