Last week new restrictions came into force in the Chinese capital of Beijing which means that athletes participating in the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympic Games in February must either be fully vaccinated or quarantine for 21 days.
The new strict rules make the starting point for the Danish delegation completely different but Mikkel Sansone Øhrgaard, who is head of mission for the Danish Olympic team in Beijing says to BT that everyone will need to adjust.
“We do not have the full overview of where we stand in terms of vaccination. We are currently making an inquiry among the women about who has been vaccinated and who have not, he says” and continues:
“With the rules set up for unvaccinated athletes, the outcome is obvious. If you put a professional athlete into a 21-day quarantine room where he or she can not maintain his or her normal, daily routine of training, eating, and physical activity, they will not be ready to participate in the Olympics.”
In other words, it means that it will probably be impossible for unvaccinated athletes to participate in the Olympics if they want to be competitive.
So far, Mikkel Sansone Øhrgaard has not heard of any Danish athletes who will say no to the vaccine. He believes that all anyone can do is adjust. The next winter Olympics will properly not be the big festival it could, and should, have been.
“There are some rules and we can discuss whether they are too restrictive or whether they exist to create the best conditions for the athletes to perform. Maybe we would have done it differently in Denmark, but now China has done it like this, and we must follow that,” Mikkel Sansone Øhrgaard says.