Tina Cook: Wimbledon and Euros showed Olympics can be safe

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Tina Cook, 50, spoke after unveiling a mural in Hove
Tina Cook, 50, spoke after unveiling a mural in Hove

Tina Cook believes Wimbledon and the recent European football Championships have shown that major sporting events can be successful despite Covid-19, writes Jonny Bray

Three-time Olympic medallist Cook, 50, believes that athletes will do what needs to be done and that the right measures are being taken to ensure their safety.

Venues in Tokyo and other areas near the capital city will not be allowed to hold events with fans during the Games.

Cook won two bronze medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, as well as silver at London 2012 in three-day eventing.

She said: “I think Wimbledon and the European Championships really have set a precedent that sporting events can go ahead.

“Yes, the cases are going to go up a bit and we know that and I think people are aware of that but people need to be able to enjoy sport at the top end and not lose the passion we have as a nation for watching the very best.

“I feel it’s right to push ahead with the games for sport worldwide.

“Everybody has been training so hard and it means so much, it just brings the world together in so many ways despite Covid-19 trying to split us up.

“Everyone is being so careful about the testing and they’re very aware about not allowing the disease to take over people’s lives.

“The athletes themselves were already people who were looking after their health and so they’ll be very careful not to mix with anybody.

“The athletes will be at the top of their game and it’ll give the rest of the world so much to aim for by watching and supporting their country.”

The Mural unveiling aimed to promote home support at this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo
The Mural unveiling aimed to promote home support at this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo

Dan Evans pulled out of the Tokyo Olympic Games after testing positive for Covid-19 and the host city remains in a state of emergency.

Evans spoke of his disappointment at having to withdraw from competition in an Instagram post and, on Tuesday, Britain's Johanna Konta also withdrew from this summer's Olympics because of contracting coronavirus.

Cook explained that she sympathises with athletes who may be prevented from competing due to positive Covid-19 tests.

“It would be completely destroying because it does take up your life when you’re at the very top end of any sport,” she added.

“You put in a huge number of hours because you’re passionate about it and you love it but also there are support teams around you.

“They’ve financially invested in you and sponsors have financially invested in you so if you’re not able to go out there and produce the goods it would be tough.

“If you’re fit and ready to go and you, have it taken away from you because of Covid-19 it could be very difficult for you and your career.”

Purplebricks is working with communities, athletes, and local artists to create commemorative murals for Team GB, encouraging the nation to show home support and get behind the athletes at the Tokyo Olympics. Visit @PurplebricksUK or https://www.purplebricks.co.uk/team-gb

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