Over the weekend, SwimSwam Italia originally reported that restrictions in Greece due to a current COVID-19 spike have limited the total number of swimmers allowed to train to 75. The most recent restrictions have that number decreased once again, with only 29 swimmers allowed to practice.
“Since last Wednesday, only 29 [Greek] swimmers are able to train,” three-time Greek Olympian Martha Matsa told SwimSwam via email. Matsa elaborated further that five of them are training and studying abroad, making the total number of swimmers actually in-country allowed to practice just 24.
Greek swimmers have been protesting these national training restrictions. On Friday, NC State alum and Greek record-holder Andreas Vazaios was one swimmer among many who posted a letter of protest on social media. Vazaios is one of the Greek national team-ers who is training and studying abroad; he’s currently in Great Britain. You can read more about the letter of protest here.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, Greece has had 205,120 cases of COVID-19 to date. The nation’s peak was in November, where new cases surpassed 3,000 daily, but they seem to be trending upwards in another wave– on March 3, Greece had 2,697 cases, their highest daily total since mid-November. In the last four days since that spike, the daily total hasn’t been higher than 2,500.
While cases are spiking, the daily death totals are not increasing nearly as rapidly; they’re about even with daily death totals in early November, before the country’s first major wave.
Greece has already named six swimmers and a relay to the Greek Olympic team for pool swimming: