Sjostrom, Hosszu & le Clos Discuss Prospect of Tokyo Olympics Cancelation

With speculation swirling that the 2020 Olympics are at risk of cancellation over the coronavirus outbreak, international stars Sarah Sjostrom, Katinka Hosszu and Chad le Clos commented on the situation in an interview with The Associated Press.

At a recent Energy Standard training camp workout in Italy – to which Hosszu, who is coaching herself to Tokyo, was an invited guest – the trio expressed concern at the prospect.

“For the athletes the best (solution) is just to focus on your preparation. … I see the news, but in my mind I’m prepared until it’s on. So I have to be ready,” Hosszu said. “I really can’t even imagine having the Olympics canceled. For athletes, it’s a nightmare… That’s our life — preparing for the biggest event in swimming.”

Tuesday, Canadian Olympic swimmer and International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound said that in the case the virus does not get under control, a full cancelation of the Games is more likely than a postponement.

“Honestly there is no really good option if it’s canceled,” Hosszú added. “Postponing is definitely better than altogether cancel.”

Le Clos told the AP that he is a “germaphobe” and will be careful, but added that a postponement could actually be a positive.

“We have to just not shake too many hands, not touch too much stuff,” he said. “It’s a terrible thing that’s happened. Hopefully it can get cured soon and we’re going to proceed to the Olympics.”

“Obviously I don’t want it to be canceled, but if it gets canceled I will train another six months or another year,” Le Clos said. “My approach is not just to Tokyo, I’m looking beyond that.”

Sjostrom chimed it that she is also concerned – she was slated to swim at the City of Milan Trophy this weekend, which was canceled due to the outbreak.

“Of course, it’s definitely on my mind,” Sjöström said. “We are reminded about it every day. I read the news. It’s a bit scary.

“People are traveling so much, even me, so that’s why the virus is spreading,” she added. “I hope we can calm it down very, very soon.”

Energy Standard head coach James Gibson said that he trusted that “the powers that be” to handle the situation. In the coming days, though, he has to decide if the team should head back to Turkey.

“We have an exit strategy. The swimmers themselves are aware what’s going on but that doesn’t change your training,” Gibson said. “You still go train as if you’re going to go and become an Olympic champion. You don’t let go of that.”

As of Wednesday night, according to, there were over 82,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally – including 453 in Italy – with 2,800 deaths.

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Hope this never happens, the athletes work too hard!


We can’t predict that for sure ……but i sense there will be some weird stuffs happening in Tokyo or before it Begins ….

Awsi Dooger

I hate to say it but I expect the Games will be canceled. They have to err on the side of caution, especially with so many spectators coming from so many places. If there’s any type of high profile outbreak at all within the next couple of months, that will be enough of a trigger.

I remember 2001 when I didn’t want to believe the Ryder Cup would be canceled after 9/11. They did it then quickly shifted the event from odd years to even years. No big deal. I’m not sure many people even remember. Unfortunately that is not viable with the Olympics.

Bottom line far preferable right now to be a Winter Olympian than Summer Olympian


Based on what? Complete conjecture?
We can barely predict tomorrow, let alone 5 months from now. Relax.

Ol' Longhorn

Relax, it’s only an incipient pandemic originating (checks notes) right on top of the venue. Nothing to see here. Just move along.


It isn’t five month from now. The decision will be made in May. So it is actually pretty close and with no sign of slowing down the probability of Olympics to be cancelled is high.


Despite loss of in person spectator revenues, the games could be held with athletes only and broadcast. Athletes could be isolated by discipline, and, at worst quarantined for 14 days after conclusion of their discipline.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they cancelled the spectators but still held the competitions.

Something to consider: for most, the symptoms are rather mild, like a common cold. Given that most of the competitors are very healthy, and not at high risk of death that way, they could just have an overwhelming team of medical professionals at the venues, test athletes daily, and push forward.


Yeah, let’s cancel spectators, keep all athletes in isolation cells and replace racing with time trials. Oh, I almost forgot – and no open and closing ceremonies. Who needs them along with this Olympic Flame..
Let’s make Olympic Games a Video games.


Indeed athletes are young and strong, but what about officials and members of numerous national and Olympic communities. Their banquets and luxury gatherings. You don’t want them to die, do you 😀


It’s as much the transmission of the disease as it is the effects on any one person. The athletes may face minimal effects, but some would be contagious upon returning home. Quarantines are designed to stop disease vectors.

Kristina Allekõrs

Olympics must organising in London! No cancellation.


London 2020 is better. London own all venues..


It would be very bad for Katinka if the event were cancelled. I hope not.


Poor Little Rich Girl 😀

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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