•   
  •   
  •   

Sports How Canada's athletes are training for what could be the hottest Olympics

18:34  13 july  2021
18:34  13 july  2021 Source:   cbc.ca

Holding Tokyo Olympics in pandemic shreds consensus in Japan

  Holding Tokyo Olympics in pandemic shreds consensus in Japan TOKYO (AP) — Japan is famous for running on consensus. But the decision to proceed with the pandemic-postponed Tokyo Olympics has shredded it. On one side, the Japanese public face concerns about the coronavirus at a time when only 16% are fully vaccinated. On the other side are politicians who hope to save face by holding the Games and the International Olympic Committee with billions of dollars on the line. “We have been cornered into a situation where we cannot even stop now.

Of all the extraordinary circumstances faced by those competing at this year's Olympics, the one that could have the most direct impact on athletic performance is the weather.

In the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, much of the public's attention has been on the pandemic that has pushed the Games back by a year and resulted in spectators being barred from events. However, extreme summer temperatures are among the top concerns for Olympic athletes and their trainers, who have had to find some creative ways to prepare.

The summer months in Tokyo can be so hot that the 1964 Summer Games there were held in October. With this year's events forging ahead this month, forecasters have predicted these could be the hottest Olympics to date, with temperatures reaching as high as the mid-30s Celsius.

IOC's Bach slips up and refers to Japanese as 'Chinese'

  IOC's Bach slips up and refers to Japanese as 'Chinese' TOKYO (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach referred to his Japanese hosts as Chinese when he appeared in public on Tuesday for the first time since arriving in Tokyo last week. Giving a pep talk at the headquarters of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, Bach's opening remarks were, “You have managed to make Tokyo the best-ever prepared city for the Olympic Games. This is even more remarkable under the difficult circumstances we all have to face.” Bach tripped over his words, referring to the “Chinese people” rather than “Japanese people.

For the Canadian women's eight rowing team, training to compete in that kind of heat has meant moving indoors, into a sweltering sports dome at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence in Victoria, B.C. On an otherwise cool summer day, team pathologist Wendy Pethick cranked up a huge heater, helping push the dome's indoor temperature up to around 35 C.

"The whole goal for heat acclimation is to try to impose a thermal stress for a given period of time," said Pethick, with the intent of pushing up the athletes' baseline core temperatures by about a degree, to a maximum of 38.5 C.

"Because we don't have the temperatures here in Canada," Pethick said, doing this kind of training ahead of the games can help the athletes' bodies learn to deal with that kind of heat and "gives them a little bit of an advantage."

Rowers say Olympic coach threatened, verbally abused them

  Rowers say Olympic coach threatened, verbally abused them OAKLAND, Calif. — As the Tokyo Games approach, US Rowing is awaiting the results of a months-long assessment commissioned by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee of the sport's national team programs, including the men’s group based in Oakland, where longtime coach Mike Teti is being criticized by some rowers for what they call his intense and intimidating style. Athletes offer drastically different accounts of what rowing is like under Teti’s leadership.

The results look deeply uncomfortable. As the rowers grind out a gruelling 90-minute workout on rowing machines and stationary bikes, sweat slides off their bodies and splashes into pools on the floor beneath them. Pop music is pumped loudly on speakers to keep morale up.

Team member Madison Mailey said she and her teammates generally drink "around three to four litres" of water during a session. They're all weighed before and after, so they know how much fluid they lose.

"It's quite gross to think about your body sweating out three to four litres of water. But it's real," she said.

Since individuals deal slightly differently with heat, Pethick and her colleagues move around the room, checking in with each athlete to gauge their condition.

One of the tools they employ is a tiny thermometer in the form of a pill. The athletes are asked to swallow it a few hours in advance of their training session, and it transmits data about their internal body temperature.

Zero risk? Virus cases test Olympic organizers' assurances

  Zero risk? Virus cases test Olympic organizers' assurances TOKYO (AP) — Two South African soccer players became the first athletes inside the Olympic Village to test positive for COVID-19, and other cases connected to the Tokyo Games were also confirmed Sunday, highlighting the herculean task organizers face to keep the virus contained while the world's biggest sports event plays out. The positive tests came as some of the 11,000 athletes and thousands more team officials expected from across the globe began arriving, having traveled through a pandemic to get to Tokyo. They'll all now live in close quarters in the Olympic Village on Tokyo Bay over the next three weeks.

"As soon as the athletes get to 38.5 [Celsius], we just try to maintain that for as much of the session as we possibly can. And we know from the literature and from the research that by applying that amount of thermal stress, we're going to get full adaptation," Pethick said.

High-level athletes like the women's eight rowing team have "very well-developed sweat mechanisms," she said. "And heat acclimation augments that process."

The pill also helps ensure each athlete's safety during training.

"If we have an athlete that heats up really quickly, then we know that we can back off on the work that they're doing so that we don't overcook them," she said.

While the actual rowing competitions themselves only last around six minutes, Pethick says, the athletes are working at maximum capacity. That means that while dehydration is less of a concern during a race, they can still overheat.

"The real difficulty is going to be the humidity," Pethick said. "What that does is it effectively shuts down our most effective heat loss avenue, which is evaporation of sweat."

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.

When the body can't thermo-regulate, she says, "you get into things like heat stroke and heat exhaustion, which can be very serious."

Racing in a Laser Radial dinghy means Sailor Sarah Douglas not only has to contend with the heat in the air, but also from splashing water, which she says could reach as high as 28 C in Tokyo.

Twice a week for around 20 to 40 minutes, she has been training on an exercise bike in a heat chamber at the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario in Toronto. Occasionally, she has posted videos of the sweaty outcome to social media.

"It's feeling like an oven," she said in a selfie video taken inside the chamber, where the temperature gauge read 33.6 C, with 65 per cent humidity.

Afterward, she wrings out her soaking wet shirt over a sink. "OK, this is how hot it is," she said, as sweat pours out.

Discomfort is something athletes are used to and train for, but high heat can be especially dangerous for those competing outdoors for long periods of time. That's why the International Olympic Committee (IOC) moved distance races, such as the marathons, to Sapporo, around 800 km north of Tokyo. Temperatures there are expected to be a few degrees cooler, but still hot.

Before heading there, Canadian marathon runner Malindi Elmore has been training outside in the midday heat in her hometown of Kelowna, B.C. The goal is to acclimatize, but she says the challenge for runners can be as much about training the mind as it is physical.

Chasing Gold: The Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony is finally here ... almost. What do we know?

  Chasing Gold: The Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony is finally here ... almost. What do we know? The Tokyo Olympics officially begin Friday with the opening ceremony, the details of which still largely remain a mystery.Early birds can watch the event live at 6:55 a.m. ET on NBC, but anyone who doesn't want to wake up with the sun can watch a tape-delayed version at 7:30 p.m. ET.

"It's in our minds as athletes [that] we want to always do things at our very best," she said. "But the heat is legitimately a factor, and we need to back off 10 or 15 seconds a kilometre to adjust for the pace."

Elmore says the overall pace of a race will "naturally adjust" when it's hot. She says those runners who don't will "pay a really heavy price."

Brent Lakatos, a Canadian wheelchair racer, will also be competing outdoors in Japan in the Paralympics. He normally lives with his wife in the United Kingdom, which doesn't have the kind of heat he needs in order to prepare to compete in the sunshine in Japan. So he has been training in Spain in order to acclimatize.

Upon his return to the U.K. before heading to the Games, he said, he'll continue his training inside a do-it-yourself heat chamber in his garage.

"I'm going to be getting a humidifier that grocery stores use — so, a fairly strong one — and setting that up inside my garage along with a heater," he said.

a person riding on the back of a motorcycle: Canadian Brent Lakatos, a seven-time Paralympic medalist, plans to train for Tokyo in a do-it-yourself heat chamber in his garage. © John Sibley/Pool/Getty Images Canadian Brent Lakatos, a seven-time Paralympic medalist, plans to train for Tokyo in a do-it-yourself heat chamber in his garage.

Wendy Pethick says Paralympians sometimes require highly individualized training plans for heat mitigation. For instance, athletes with spinal cord injuries may have a diminished capacity to sweat, she says.

"And so for those athletes, we've looked at a number of different ways for cooling."

They include vests filled with ice that can be worn before or after a competition, as well as ice slushies that can be ingested to help lower the body's core temperature.

Pethick says she was "a little bit" surprised by the choice of Tokyo in mid-summer for these Games. But she added that, "for any Summer Olympics on any given day, it could be temperature extremes. And so I think athletes and coaches need to be prepared for that."

It's a lesson summer athletes will likely need to heed into the future, as rising temperatures mean Summer Games could be increasingly hot in many parts of the world. Tokyo, in so many ways, is a testing ground pushing athletes to adapt.

Watch full episodes of The National on CBC Gem, the CBC's streaming service.

Tokyo Olympics Full TV & Streaming Schedule: How To Watch Everything, Including The Women’s Swimming & Woman’s Gymnastics Team Finals – Updated .
UPDATED with schedule changes: NBCUniversal is airing programming from the Tokyo Olympic Games across a wide swath of its broadcast, cable and digital properties, the programming schedules for which are constantly shifting this year. Deadline is updating this list daily from multiple official sources. See schedule below for full event listings. NBCU’s Peacock streaming service launched a Tokyo Olympics destination on July 15 that features extensive live coverage of some the Games’ biggest events including Gymnastics, Track and Field and the U.S.’s pursuit of its fourth straight gold medal in Men’s basketball.

usr: 0
This is interesting!