The postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are slated to finally begin this week, and plenty of athletes are already on hand in the Olympic Village before the events officially kick off. The Covid-19 pandemic is still a pressing concern for organizers, and due to a long list of rules meant to stem the spread of the virus, not all athletes will be able to enjoy the living area in the same ways as previous stagings of the Games (which in part led to since-debunked rumors about anti-sex beds).
But it's still the Olympics, and these are still world class athletes. Those competitors who are on site need a place to work out and train ahead of their events to stay in peak condition for medal worthy performances. We got a look behind the scenes of the Olympic Village fitness setup, thanks to Technogym, the official supplier of athletic training equipment for the Games. Reps for the company say it contributed 1,500 pieces of products and trainers across 25 fitness centers to create the Olympic Village facilities. But the design for such a uniquely challenging project made the whole setup a jigsaw puzzle to best promote safe practices and social distancing as athletes sweat to stay in top shape.
"Safety protocols set by the Organizing Committee at the Olympic Village are very clear and precise," said Technogym's Press & Media Director Enrico Manaresi in a statement. "Masks are compulsory except when working out and the strength machine layout has been designed with suitable distancing. For cardio, which includes a higher number of machines, there are screens to separate the products."
These measures haven't dampened the athlete's experiences, at least according to Manaresi. "The atmosphere is pretty positive and relaxed and the athletes are very collaborative in following the protocols indicated by the Organizing Committee," they continued. "Our role at Technogym is to provide athletes with the best equipment for athletic training—Skill Line, for example, has been specifically designed for athletic performance training—and they are loving it."
Check out these behind the scenes photos for a look into the Olympic Village. Remember, the work behind all those gold medal performances starts in places like this.
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