The president of Team USA Swimming has fired off a letter to the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee strongly urging for the 2020 Games to be postponed 1 year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tim Hinchey -- President and CEO of USA Swimming -- feels it's unfair to force athletes to prepare for Tokyo 2020 while they're trying to follow government mandates urging them to quarantine and stay out of public places.
As we previously reported, Olympic training pools around the country have been shut down to protect the athletes from exposure to the COVID-19 virus ... leaving many swimmers without a place to work out while they prep for the biggest competition of their lives.
So, Hinchey sent a letter to Sarah Hirshland -- CEO of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee -- urging her to push for a 1-year postponement.
"As this global pandemic has grown, we have watched our athletes’ worlds be turned upside down and watched them struggle to find ways to continue to prepare and train – many for the biggest competitive opportunity of their lives."
"Our world class swimmers are always willing to race anyone, anytime and anywhere; however, pressing forward amidst the global health crisis this summer is not the answer."
"The right and responsible thing to do is to prioritize everyone’s health and safety and appropriately recognize the toll this global pandemic is taking on athletic preparations," Hinchey wrote.
"It has transcended borders and wreaked havoc on entire populations, including those of our respected competitors. Everyone has experienced unimaginable disruptions, mere months before the Olympic Games, which calls into question the authenticity of a level playing field for all."
Hinchey added ... "Our athletes are under tremendous pressure, stress and anxiety, and their mental health and wellness should be among the highest priorities."
"It is with the burden of these serious concerns that we respectfully request that the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee advocate for the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 by one year."