Closing Bell

USOPC working to finalize details for Beijing

By Chris Smith

A top USOPC exec today said it is “working tirelessly” to finalize details for athlete arrival in, departure from and housing within Beijing for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, though exact plans will be reliant on Beijing’s COVID countermeasures that will be detailed in playbooks released later this month. USOPC Chief of Sport Performance and NGB Services Rick Adams made the comments during Day 2 of this week's Team USA media summit. 

Team USA expects to have between 230-240 Olympians in China, and Adams said almost half of that delegation will be traveling to Beijing from outside the U.S., which will require the USOPC to ensure proper COVID-19 testing protocols are available in the foreign nations from which athletes will be departing for the Winter Games. A first test is currently underway, as some Team USA bobsledders, sliders and speed skaters are now in or will soon be traveling to Beijing for a series of test events.

USOPC Chief of Athlete Services Bahati VanPelt added that the USOPC also has plans to implement various athlete-focused initiatives for the Beijing Games based on learnings from Tokyo this past summer. Those measures will include the “creation of more wellness spaces that better incorporate mental health officers and the USOPC clinical team,” as well as more direct engagement with athlete friends and families in the U.S. and additional opportunities to “celebrate athlete achievements on the ground in Beijing.”

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