Team GB chief insists it’s time to end the obsession with Olympic medals after the coronavirus crisis and athletes’ wellbeing scandal with one more year to go until the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 begins
- Mark England believes the emphasis should shift after the coronavirus crisis
- Team GB chief says it’s time to end the obsession with the Olympic medal
- Thursday marks a year to begin the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Games
- No one can guarantee that the Games will even continue next year because of Covid-19
- England also admits that British Olympic sports need to do more to increase diversity
Team GB chief Mark England believes it is time to end the obsession with Olympic medal extracts following the corona virus crisis and athletes’ wellbeing scandal.
It’s been a year on Thursday to start the rescheduled Tokyo Games after this summer’s event – which was scheduled to begin on Friday, July 24 – was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Great Britain finished second in the 2016 Rio medal table with 67 medals, improving their performance at London 2012 when they finished third with 65 gongs.
Team GB chief Mark England believes it’s time to end the obsession with Olympic medals
But about next year’s medal goals, Team GB chief de mission England said: “I wonder if it’s time for the story to change, given what happened in the world.
’45, 000 people died in this country and hundreds of thousands died all over the world. A pandemic is still raging in parts of the world.
“Is it time to change that story, where Team GB athletes are role models for the British public and not just medals? I hesitate to say “more than medals”, but this is a real opportunity to see what is important.
“Tokyo 2020 will be another great sport celebration next year as it continues, but I think it’s also time to reflect on what the past 12 months and postponement have meant.”
UK Sport funding for the Olympic sports in Britain is still largely measured by the medal’s success at the Games.
Thursday marks a year to begin the rescheduled Tokyo Games after they were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic
That culture that has always come at all costs has led to various well-being problems in sports, the most recent gymnastics, where an independent evaluation has been conducted following recent accusations of athletes’ abuse.
“Abuse and bullying don’t belong in the Olympics,” England added. Many of us are involved in the Olympics because it stands for something bigger than the pursuit of medals.
‘We are currently being measured like this. That’s part of the measurement and part of the high-performance system we have in the UK.
“But the outcome of the medal table is not relevant to us (Team GB). Our mission is to support athletes. ‘
England admits that no one can guarantee that the Olympics will even go ahead next year, given the ongoing coronavirus situation – but thinks Team GB can keep their athletes safe.
England says the British Olympic Association is talking to their athletes about how they can support the Black Lives Matter movement in Tokyo.
England admits that no one can definitively guarantee that the Olympic Games will even continue next year
Currently, taking a knee on the podium is prohibited under Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter and may result in disciplinary action, although the International Olympic Committee is now consulting their athletes’ committee on a possible policy change.
England said, “It is important that athletes have the opportunity to express how they want to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Some athletes may believe that the playing field and the stage are sacred. Some athletes can choose to give them the highest profile and that is why it is the right and suitable place.
“We would absolutely support athletes in whatever way they collectively choose to support Black Lives Matters.”
In 16 of the 23 sports in which Team GB participated in Rio 2016, all the selected athletes were white
England also admits that British Olympic sports have work to do to increase diversity. In 16 of the 23 sports in which Team GB participated in Rio 2016, all the selected athletes were white, while there was also a lack of BAME representation at boardroom level.
“I think we can all do more,” England added. “It’s up to those governing bodies to take a good look in the mirror and say,” Am I doing enough? “.
“We welcome a more diverse athletic shorts that better represent the country in which we live.”