— Published 1 December 2021

Swiss Olympic calls for an exception for elite athletes

Concern in Swiss sport. The day after the announcement of the cancellation of the 2021 Winter Universiade in Lucerne, the National Olympic Committee (Swiss Olympic) has sounded the alarm. The body based in Ittigen, in the canton of Bern, explained in a press release that “sport will not be able to withstand the travel restrictions and quarantine provisions currently in force. While it supports the Federal Council’s health measures, Swiss Olympic is openly concerned about their impact on the international winter sports calendar and the preparation of athletes, less than 70 days before the opening of the Beijing 2022 Games. Visitors arriving from countries on a Swiss red list must undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine. Since the emergence of the Omicron variant, the list has been growing. It now includes Canada. The problem is that the Alpine Skiing World Cup is currently in the Canadian resort of Lake Louise. This means that the women skiers will have to undergo a 10-day isolation period before they can compete in the two Super-G events in St. Moritz in December. Over the next three weeks, Switzerland will also host World Cup events in cross-country skiing in Davos, ski jumping in Engelberg, and skicross in Arosa. If the travel restrictions and quarantine provisions are maintained, the organisation of international sporting events in Switzerland will be at risk, if not impossible,” says Swiss Olympic President Jürg Stahl. This would again put sportsmen and women, organisers, federations and clubs (as well as various sectors of the economy) in great difficulty. The Olympic body is asking the Swiss authorities for a quarantine exception for elite athletes, so that they can continue to exercise their profession.