It’s the Olympics we thought would never happen, and while for some the idea of a Games taking place amidst a global pandemic is still baffling, for others it’s the perfect escape from the monotony of lockdown. In a matter of hours, the Games will officially begin with an Opening Ceremony like no other, a time where social distancing restrictions and safety are a priority, where risks are to be calculated in every interaction, and athletes have to contend with the fact that they will compete on the world’s biggest sporting stage, albeit one devoid of spectators and the support of family and loved ones.
It’s hard to imagine just how incredibly tough the last few months have been for athletes. Training for an Olympic Games is one thing, but to do so under the blanket of uncertainty that has prevailed since Covid-19 came to grip the world is something else entirely. But now that the athletes have arrived at the Olympic Village, there’s no turning back. Exhibition matches are underway and now, with the Olympic start date just around the corner, sport’s top athletes are settling into the mindset required to compete at their peak. It also means that they’ve now traded home gyms and fitness centres for that of the Tokyo Olympic village gym.
In order to reach their peak and perform at their best, athletes need to be in the gym, working out and training ahead of their event. But if you were concerned that the pandemic would see the gym closed, think again. Technogym, the official supplier of athletic equipment for the Games, has granted access to a behind-the-scenes look of the Olympic Village fitness setup and it seems clear that safety is a priority. According to Men’s Health UK, representatives of the company say it contributed 1,500 pieces of products and trainers across 25 fitness centres to create the Olympic Village facilities. The design however, was particularly challenging and can best be described as a jigsaw puzzle, a feature that best promotes safe practices and social distancing as athletes break a sweat.
“Safety protocols set by the Organising Committee at the Olympic Village are very clear and precise,” said Technogym’s Press and Media Director Enrico Manaresi in a statement. “Masks are compulsory except when working out and the strength machine layout has been designed with suitable distancing. For cardio, which includes a higher number of machines, there are screens to separate the products.”
As for the atmosphere, Manaresi explains, “The atmosphere is pretty positive and relaxed and the athletes are very collaborative in following the protocols indicated by the Organising Committee. Our role at Technogym is to provide athletes with the best equipment for athletic training – Skill Line, for example, has been specifically designed for athletic performance training – and they are loving it.”