Swimming Australia Welcomes AOC's Position

23 March 2020

Swimming Australia has welcomed the acknowledgement by the AOC that an Australian Olympic team could not be assembled in 2020 considering current global circumstances.

Swimming Australia Chief Executive Leigh Russell supported the AOC’s decision.

“Given the current situation worldwide, it has become evident that it is not safe for the Games to be staged in its current time frame,” Russell said.

“Although it’s a devastating prospect for the Games to be postponed, it is the correct decision, as we must focus on our families and our communities at this challenging time.

“We understand our country is experiencing unprecedented circumstances, as are our athletes who are only just starting to digest this news. We’re very conscious of their mental health and wellbeing and will provide support to our athletes, as well as our coaches and staff, through our wellbeing support networks.

“When the time is right, we will look ahead to the planning phase for 2021 but right now our focus must remain on stopping and slowing the spread of COVID-19 and supporting our people."

Following the government’s most recent advice and further restrictions being imposed across the country, and after consultation with high performance coaches, Russell said Swimming Australia’s high performance programs would also immediately shut down.

“It is clear that to stop the spread of COVID-19 we must all follow government advice and practice physical distancing,” Russell said.

“In light of all non-essential services being shut down we will suspend all of our Olympic and Paralympic training programs for the foreseeable future.

“The safety and health of our athletes, coaches, staff, their families and our community, is paramount at the moment.”

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