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Britain expects totally vaccinated group for Beijing

LONDON, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Britain expects to take a completely vaccinated group of 57 athletes to February’s Beijing Winter Olympics, chef de mission Georgie Harland mentioned because the countdown reached 100 days to go on Wednesday.

Vaccination isn’t obligatory for individuals however athletes and officers who will not be jabbed for COVID-19 should spend 21 days in quarantine, with some case-by-case exceptions for medical causes. learn extra

Some British athletes reportedly went to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games unvaccinated however Harland indicated that whereas Team GB had but to pick most winter athletes, these on the lengthy listing appeared to have fewer qualms.

“Our intelligence at the moment tells us that most of those athletes on the long list are already vaccinated. I have full confidence that we will go to the Games with a fully vaccinated team,” she mentioned.

Bobsleigh and skeleton check occasions had been held on the National Sliding Centre in Beijing on Monday, the primary worldwide competitors on the newly constructed venue. learn extra

“The feedback coming out of the test events is that the venues are going to be incredible and Beijing are going to deliver a fantastic Games,” mentioned Harland.

“Yes, there is going to be restriction around movements but we managed that in Tokyo and we’ll be taking those learnings through to Beijing.”

Rights teams have known as for a boycott of the Games to protest towards what they see as human rights atrocities in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong. China has rejected these claims.

Harland mentioned the British Olympic Association was conscious of potential issues and recognised the power of feeling some athletes might need.

“The British Olympic Association upholds freedom of speech for athletes. It’s not our place to tell athletes what opinions they should and shouldn’t have and the views they have,” she mentioned.

“Our first responsibility is to share (the IOC guidelines). And then as part of that process, an open dialogue with athletes about what is important to them and where they may want to express those views.”

Team GB took 58 opponents throughout 11 sports activities to Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018 with a haul of 5 medals — a gold and 4 bronze.

Harland mentioned the present estimate was 57 athletes for Beijing throughout 17 disciplines. Snowboard and freestyle snowboarding provide among the greatest medal possibilities.

“I think it’s really important we show that we don’t just have one or two sports that we’re competitive in,” she mentioned. “We’re taking athletes across more sports than before.

“We’ve received very credible athletes throughout these disciplines as effectively.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, enhancing by Ken Ferris

Participants transfer the Olympic flame from a cauldron at the ceremony to welcome the flame for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, in Beijing, China October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang