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On the way to Paris 2024. The coronavirus invites itself into Olympic preparation

The best swordsmen in the world gathered this weekend in Athens. (Cécilia Berder Radiofrance)

Our daily life is a bit turned upside down. At the calendar level, competitions have already been canceled, but for us, this weekend everything was normal in our trip for a competition in Athens.

The men, the sabers of the France team, were not so lucky. They had to shoot in Italy. They finally took the direction of Luxembourg. In a very short week, the city of Luxembourg has successfully accomplished the feat of organizing this competition, which is already quite remarkable.

For us in Athens everything was completely normal in terms of protocol, the only thing that was perhaps a little complicated, was ultimately how we were going to say hello, and how we were going to greet the referee. There, each one had his technique, it could be a greeting of the hand in the distance, a greeting with the elbow, a “check” of the foot. After we are not going to lie, we sometimes forgot a little and we shook a few hands, habits quickly regaining the upper hand with the competition.

Alexandre Fava's elbow check in Budapest to greet his opponent.
Alexandre Fava's elbow check in Budapest to greet his opponent. (AUGUSTO BIZZI)

For the swordsmen who were in luxembourg, they were summoned at 8 am Friday for a competition which started at 11.30 am, six doctors were present to take the temperature of the athletes and the staff. If all went well, they received a yellow bracelet, and everything went well. In Budapest for swordsmen it was something else. They had to answer a questionnaire with this type of question: “Have you been in a country affected by Covid-19 coronavirus for the past 14 days, or have you been in contact with a suspected or confirmed case?”

Likewise, if your answers were safe, you could enter the gym.

The Coronavrius Crisis Questionnaire given to fencers before validating their participation. & Nbsp;
The Coronavrius Crisis Questionnaire given to fencers before validating their participation. (AUGUSTO BIZZI)

It's true that we hear everything and its opposite, there are a lot of rumors, but we had the chance to speak with the coaches, and we agreed on a single watchword : “Adapt”.

You have to be patient, we see things evolving day by day, but the only element that we can control is our way of training, so we really focus on that. We hope at first that all nations will be able to move and participate in all competitions, because we really have the common desire to see this process of Olympic qualification go to completion.

It would be terrible enough to see that a nation is not allowed to move because of the virus. It's been more than a year that we have been engaged and that we have a lot of stuff on each competition. We really all want to go to the end of this story with fairness preserved.

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