Cross-country skiing expert Fredrik Aukland believes that the Norwegian Ski Association should already now inform corona-infected Heidi Weng and Anne Kjersti Kalvå that the Olympics are over.
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Aukland believes the Ski Association is facing a very difficult dilemma, as the time for the first exercise is scarce. The Olympic Games for cross-country skiers are already underway on 5 February.
– The paradox is that there are only eight places, both for ladies and men. The premise for success in Beijing is the height and acclimatization to the time difference. To perform down there, you are completely dependent on it. If you want to send down others than those who have been taken out, this must be done immediately. Then those who have proven infection must be informed as soon as possible that this will not work, says NRK’s cross-country expert Fredrik Aukland to VG.
In other words, he believes that the ski association simply can not take the chance of sending Weng and Kalvå to Beijing.
– It is a gambling to wait, and as I understand it is not at all certain that it is easy to recover quickly after being infected, says the cross-country expert, who also points to the common charter planes as potential contagion bombs.
Regardless of how things go with Weng and Kalvå, Aukland fears that the Olympics in Beijing could become a “parody of a championship”. Still, he thinks there is too much politics and money involved for the championship not to go as planned.
– I think the Olympics will go as normal. But as the situation is now, I’m not sure if it’s right to implement it. We may risk that the biggest stars do not get the opportunity to go. They have been training for years for this. It breaks with the sport’s premises if they are not allowed to compete, he emphasizes.
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Former national team runner Frode Estil is worried about how the charge will affect those who will actually go to Beijing. Nor does he believe that a plan with reserves will be a good solution if it takes much longer.
– It is terribly boring to be in a situation where the focus is completely different than it should be. It will be difficult to look forward to something you have been looking forward to for four years. It sounds like they have a solution with reserves, but competing in the height on the other side of the earth – without preparation – will mean that they have very poor conditions for success, Estil points out.
He shares Aukland’s thoughts that the championship might not go as planned.
– But the Olympics are so gigantic that it will be almost impossible to cancel, I think, Estil says to VG.
On Wednesday, former biathlete Emil Hegle Svendsen also took to Twitter and thought that the Olympics should possibly not go as planned:
Marthe Kristoffersen knows the cross-country environment well after a number of years on the national team. The current Viaplay expert is aware that it has recently become clear that the Olympics should not go as planned.
– The worst that could have happened, happened now. We are unable to control this virus. It is unbelievably sad for those who are in this situation, but I think it is a bit late to come now and say that the Olympics should be canceled. Then we become a little hindsight. It looks like it will be the Olympics, and then you have to do what you can to get well there. That is the reality we live in, says Kristoffersen to VG.