Canada First fan-less Olympics: What is the impact on athletes?

23:13  31 july  2021
23:13  31 july  2021 Source:   globalnews.ca

Olympic scandals march on long after torch goes out

  Olympic scandals march on long after torch goes out TOKYO (AP) — From doping, to demonstrations to dirty officials, the Olympics have never lacked their share of off-the-field scandals and controversies that keep the Games in the headlines long after the torch goes out. The five-year gap since the last Summer Olympics has been no different. A brief look at some of the most notable news to hit the Olympic world since it last convened for the Summer Games. SEX ABUSE — Larry Nassar's sexual abuse ofSEX ABUSE — Larry Nassar's sexual abuse of hundreds of gymnasts in the U.S. opened a window into an abusive culture that permeates throughout the sport, and in all corners of the globe. Since Rio, the U.S. Safesport Center opened to investigate complaints about abuse in sports.

The 100m women's semi-finals inside the empty stadium due to COVID-19 © Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images The 100m women's semi-finals inside the empty stadium due to COVID-19

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this year are without the usual crowds and fanfare associated with the world’s biggest sporting spectacle.

This is the first time in the 125-year history of the modern Games that spectators have been barred from attending as the host city, Tokyo, battles a surge in coronavirus cases that forced Japan to declare a state of emergency.

Read more: IN PHOTOS: Tokyo 2020 Olympic athletes compete in fan-free stadiums amid COVID-19

Where is Aly Raisman now? Gold-medal gymnast enjoying retirement alongside dog, Mylo

  Where is Aly Raisman now? Gold-medal gymnast enjoying retirement alongside dog, Mylo The gymnast who won three Olympic golds and helped take down Larry Nassar officially retired in January 2020.Though her appearances at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games were slightly overshadowed by all-around gold performances by teammates Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles, Raisman was instrumental in bringing home team golds for both teams.

As has been the case over the past year and a half amid COVID-19, it’s a different vibe for the athletes so used to competing in front of packed stadiums, but they have had to adapt.

“These big venues that have been built and designed to hold large crowds of people are now sitting relatively empty and so from the athlete's perspective, it feels empty,” said Catherine Sabiston, a professor in the faculty of kinesiology and physical education at the University of Toronto.

Video: How do Olympic athletes stay mentally sharp?

Fans not only provide the visual signals that help athletes feel supported, but also auditory cues – either through cheers or boos – that give them a sense of feedback on their performance, Sabiston told Global News.

Tokyo Olympics: A success? A failure? And how to judge?

  Tokyo Olympics: A success? A failure? And how to judge? TOKYO (AP) — Will it be a success? A failure? Or none of the above? It will take something much more nuanced than those basic notions to assess the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics when they wrap up in two weeks. The response will be twisted by dozens of parties with their own interests. There's the International Olympic Committee. The 11,000 athletes. The Japanese organizing committee. The Japanese public. The absent fans. And how about the sponsors? Or the Japanese government and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. There is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Governor Yuriko Koike, who has higher political aspirations. The Tokyo medical community.

"Most athletes train for fan noise."

Because fans can motivate as well as give energy and sense of purpose to athletes, their absence can be a challenge, Sabiston added.

To make up for the lack of actual spectators at the venues, Olympic organizers are playing fake ambient crowd sounds customized for each sport.

It’s a ploy that different sports leagues and tournaments have used over the past year as the pandemic forced events to be held with empty stands.

Read more: Simone Biles’ Olympics puts focus on mental health: ‘I have to do what’s right for me’

Since March 2020, the fan-less sporting environment that many athletes found themselves in may have prepared them for the Tokyo Games this year.

“Well-prepared athletes considered this potential and began mentally preparing for it months ago,” said Adam Naylor, a sport psychology consultant based in Boston, Mass.

“That said, we can’t neglect that the presence and energy of fans provides an energy bump for athletes -- both better and worse performance-wise," he told Global News.

Olympic viewing guide: Why Simone Biles didn't 'quit', and Penny swims for another record

  Olympic viewing guide: Why Simone Biles didn't 'quit', and Penny swims for another record Here's what to watch Wednesday night and Thursday morning, including Penny Oleksiak's attempt to make more Canadian history and some context to help understand why Simone Biles isn't competing in the women's all-around final.Canada's two best medal chances on Day 6 are also in women's events. We'll get to those in a minute, along with some other interesting news you need to know.

Video: Canadian Olympic gold medalist Maude Charron returns home to Quebec

Despite the change in atmosphere, it has been business as usual for many athletes on the field.

In fact, just one week into the Games several records have already been broken on the track and in the pool.

Read more: Olympics medal count: Here’s who won the most medals during the Tokyo Games

The latest was on Saturday when defending champion Elaine Thompson-Herah set a new Olympic record with her gold medal-winning 100-metres sprint.

Canada’s medal hopeful and defending bronze winner Andre De Grasse also clocked in a season-best time on Saturday to cruise into the men’s 100-metres semi-finals.

“We’ve learned that some terrific performances can be put on display without a live audience,” said Naylor.

“While celebrations are certainly sweeter when fans are present, athletes are pretty good at being professionals and putting forth a good performance once the ball is in play or the start whistle has blown.”

Not having fans can also be a blessing in disguise for some as it takes away the added pressure and anxiety caused by an audience.

Olympics Latest: Chinese divers 1-2 in springboard prelims

  Olympics Latest: Chinese divers 1-2 in springboard prelims TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on the Tokyo Olympics, which are taking place under heavy restrictions after a year’s delay because of the coronavirus pandemic: ___ China’s Shi Tingmao and Wang Han have finished 1-2 in the preliminaries of Olympic women’s 3-meter springboard diving. Shi totalled 350.45 points for her five dives, followed closely by Wang at 347.25. The two already teamed up to win the 3-meter synchro event. Shi is going for her second straight individual gold on the springboard and looking to extend China’s dominance in the women’s event.

This is especially the case for less experienced competitors, experts say.

Fan-less Olympics can help athletes who suffer from higher levels of competitive or social anxiety thrive without the crowd present as an additional stressor, said Sabiston, who is also Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Mental Health

But the more experienced and accomplished players can actually perform better when the arenas are full and rocking, Naylor added.

Former Olympian Alexander Kopacz, who won gold for Canada in the two-man bobsleigh event at the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, said he would try to block out the surrounding crowd noise while competing because it would get “too overwhelming.”

Read more: Simone Biles’ Olympics puts focus on mental health: ‘I have to do what’s right for me’

“I'm pretty confident, in general, a lot of athletes are probably a little bit more appreciative of having a more calm state to be less distracted as they approach,” the 31-year-old from London, Ont., said.

However, having the crowd at the end to celebrate the wins was “super exciting,” he added. It’s something the Olympians this year are missing out on, Kopacz said.

There are a number of sports, like golf, archery, shooting and diving, where the presence or lack of fans can be irrelevant, said Sabiston. But team sports, such as soccer, rugby and field hockey, are certainly being challenged because they are designed for having many people around them, she added.

Read more: Canada at the Tokyo Olympics: Who’s competing Saturday night, Sunday morning

In some track and field events like pole vaulting, high jump and long jump, the athletes feed off the energy and tempo from the crowd as they prepare to launch.

Spectators can also influence referees and judges in different sports which are usually somewhat subjective – like artistic gymnastics and synchronized swimming, said Sabiston.

“Without those fans, we're having a more objective Olympics than we've ever had before.”

Sport climbing makes Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. All you need to know .
The first-ever Olympic medals for climbing will be handed out on Thursday, Friday. We take a look at the sport that is fast growing in popularity.Sport climbing is making its Olympic debut in Tokyo, with 40 international male and female climbers competing in three disciplines and vying to get their hands on the medals.

usr: 0
This is interesting!