The 100-day countdown to the Tokyo Olympics has started as the Australian Olympic Committee [AOC] awaiting the timetable for when his 1,400-strong cohort will receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Australia will send one of its biggest touring parties to the Olympics in July, with between 450-480 athletes expected to be selected to travel to Japan.
The AOC believes its cohort of athletes, staff and officials will all be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the time they leave Australia, despite the slow launch jab in the country.
Rescheduled Tokyo matches kick off July 23, with AOC marking 100 days away with live site announcements at Sydney’s Circular Quay and other locations on Wednesday. AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said the vaccine was mandated for Australian officials and volunteers, but not for athletes.
The AOC continues to communicate with the federal and state governments as an opportune time to accept the jab approach, with many athletes hoping to head abroad next month to fine-tune their preparations.
“We are currently in discussion with the Minister [Greg] The hunting office every week, “said Carroll.
“We didn’t expect athletes or officials to be vaccinated at this time, so we weren’t frustrated.
“When the crisis starts to hit next month, the athletes will start going abroad. The government is well aware of that.
“We are working with the government on how their program is launched, in which they will classify athletes and officials. We are pretty sure.
“[The vaccine] very important … in terms of maintaining the health and well-being of athletes, and also giving them the confidence they have been vaccinated is critical to their performance. “
Doubles-Olympian Jessica Fox hopes to receive a vaccine to help ease concerns about traveling to Europe for the canoe slalom World Cup.
The first two events are scheduled for June and double as an opportunity for Fox, who won silver at the London Olympics, to intensify its preparations on the world stage after being based in Australia amid the global pandemic.
“I want to get a vaccine and it will definitely make traveling abroad for the World Cup feel less dangerous, scary and uncertain,” Fox told ESPN.
“Whether that happens or not, we are just waiting for AOC and giving their medical advice, and what the government advises.
“I don’t know about the schedule, but I know AOC will keep us informed. [They’ve] really good at giving us information on anything to do with Tokyo at first. “
Fox looks forward to a bubble of trans-Tasman travel that starts next week, with the 26-year-old slalom canoe planning to head to New Zealand for training camp later this month.
But Fox admits he’s not tied to his plans because of ongoing changes to borders and travel restrictions, saying the only thing that’s certain between now and Tokyo is a lot of rigorous training.
“There are so many plans between now and Tokyo, there are Plans A to Plan F. I don’t let myself get too attached to any plans because I know they can change so quickly,” Fox said.
Hopefully I can go to New Zealand at the end of the month for training camp and then after that it’s a bit uncertain whether we go to Europe for the World Cup event or stay in Australia then head to Tokyo for the pre-Match. training camp in early July.
“The only thing that is certain is that there is a lot of rigorous training. The details are uncertain about who, what, where and why.
“I just have to trust myself and my preparation, and know that I am very experienced as an athlete and that will help me. I still have the passion and excitement for the third Olympics, and I will do my best when I get there. “