Prep for Beijing 2022 hard amid COVID-19, says Polish ski jumping legend

2020-10-22 15:05:55 GMT2020-10-22 23:05:55(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

WARSAW, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Polish legendary ski jumper Adam Malysz believes it will be difficult for athletes to prepare for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"It will be hard to prepare for the Olympic Games if we don't beat the pandemic. There is a huge challenge ahead of China to organize the competition in that circumstance," Malysz told Xinhua in an interview on Thursday.

Malysz won four Olympic medals and four golds in the world championship. Currently he works as a director-coordinator of ski jumping and Nordic combined at the Polish Ski Association (PZN).

Poland's ski jumping team is considered as one of the main favorites to secure the highest podium at the Olympic Games in Beijing. However, Malysz warned that it's difficult to predict the results due to the pandemic.

"I think the competitions will be played behind closed doors. We have no choice as we still have a high number of COVID-19 cases each day. It seems impossible to invite fans on the stands," added the 42-year-old.

In June, Malysz informed that he was infected with COVID-19. "Now I'm OK. The situation is hard but I think the pandemic won't affect the level of the ski jumping competition. Our team does their job," Malysz said.

However, Malysz shared his doubts about the organization of the season. "International Ski Federation (FIS) wants to do everything to play the season. They recommend ski jumpers to be tested before each competition, but they leave the final decision to the federations. The Finns and the Russians have already informed us that they will require these tests. It's a huge expense for our federation. I think it will be difficult to meet these guidelines."

"Another question is what we should do when one of the ski jumpers would be infected. In that case as a federation we should send just him to be quarantined or all team? There is no doubt that it will be a very strange season."

At the 128th International Olympic Committee Session in July 2015, Beijing was elected as the host city of the 2022 Winter Olympics, which is scheduled to take place from February 4-20, 2022 and several towns in neighboring Hebei province. Enditem