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  • USOPC Training Centers Reopening in Phases


    (ATR) A select group of athletes working toward Tokyo 2020 or Beijing 2022 should begin full training at the two U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Centers in the next day or two.

    Lake Placid will house 16 athletes in phase 1 of its reopening. (USOPC)
    Since June 26, both on-site and off-site athletes have been in quarantine and COVID-19 testing protocol as part of the first phase of reopening the training centers in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Lake Placid, New York.

    Under the plans revealed in detail in the USOPC’s “Reopening Playbook”, on-site athletes who come back clean of coronavirus from two saliva tests and one antibody test during the six-day quarantine may begin full training as soon as July 1. Those that test positive will stay in quarantine until they are cleared.

    The athletes who are living off-site are strongly encouraged to shelter in place during the initial quarantine and must also be cleared of COVID-19 through the same testing procedures as their on-site counterparts before they are allowed to train at the OPTC.

    Both on-site and off-site athletes are being asked to minimize their movement outside of the OPTCs. On-site athletes are permitted to leave the facility only for essential activities such as going to the pharmacy or putting gas in the car. All athletes are being encouraged to have groceries, supplies, and takeout food delivered.

    The training center in Colorado Springs (USOPC)
    Only athletes living on-site will be able to go into the dining hall. Curbside meal service will be provided to any off-site athlete who has meal access. All USOPC, OPTC, and NGB staff must bring their own meals or find somewhere else to eat until further notice. Staff who do not bring their own meals are encouraged to order takeout rather than eating at a sit-down restaurant to reduce their risk of infection.

    On-site athletes and those who are living outside the facility will train at different times of the day, with the spaces being thoroughly cleaned between the sessions.

    No more than 10 people, including coaches and athletes, will be allowed to train in a space given physical distancing measures. These restrictions could be adjusted based on any changes made by local authorities.

    Masks are required for all coaches and OPTC support staff. Additionally, staff should maintain a 12-foot (3.66 meter) distance from athletes during training.

    Priority access to both the Colorado Springs and Lake Placid facilities is being given to those athletes “who are tracking towards representing Team USA at Tokyo 2020 or Beijing 2022”. Sports in which athletes can train in a physically distanced manner were moved to the front of the line.

    The number of athletes will be limited. In Colorado Springs, Phase 1 will allow for up to 25 athletes on-site and up to 15 athletes off-site. These include current on-site athletes of various sports as well as those in medical rehab and cycling and para-cycling.

    Phase 2 would include additional sports (figure skating, para swimming, paratriathlon, shooting, track and field, triathlon) and facilities being opened and the number of athletes increased to 40 on-site and 30 off-site.

    Gymnastics, para shooting and swimming are the sports to be added in the third phase with an increased athlete count of 60 on-site and 45 off-site.

    Phase 4 adds boxing, para judo, pentathlon and wrestling to the mix while reaching the maximum of 80 athletes on-site and 60 off-site.

    In Lake Placid, priority sports to gain re-entry during phase 1 are biathlon, bobsled, luge and skeleton. Up to 16 athletes will be able to live on-site.

    Phase 2 adds rhythmic gymnastics and the athlete count on-site jumps to 40.

    Phase 3 increases the on-site count to 75 and priority camps may be considered while phase 4 grants priority access to all athletes tracking for Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022.

    Unlike Colorado Springs, no specific number of off-site athletes is mentioned for Lake Placid, though the USOPC says elsewhere in the “playbook” that the number will be determined by multiple factors driven primarily by public health guidelines and physical limitations at the OPTCs.

    There is no set timeline to move from phase 1 to phase 2. The USOPC says the decision will be based "on public health guidelines, the current environment and our efforts to ensure a thoughtful, scaled re-entry process. The minimum amount of time will be approximately three weeks. This will allow for the self-quarantine period followed by two weeks of training."

    Written by Gerard Farek

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