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(Post-)Pandemic Sport

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

It will be different from what we had known until SARS-CoV-2 changed the rules. Just how different is best assessed through multiple perspectives and contrasting opinions. Starting this week I will report on (post-) pandemic sport, the facets that I know and can relate to.

Whether you practice a sport hardcore or just “consume” it as a fan, chances are that you didn’t get enough of it over the past few months. The coronavirus did not only wreak havoc on every aspect of physical health, it did the same to the mental well-being that is known to depend on people working out for fitness, training to be at their best or, at least, to follow their favorite athletes and teams.

Human resilience and ingenuity helped to produce a few acts of defiance to the many restrictions applying everywhere. Frenchman Elisha Nochomovitz ran a marathon on his seven-meter balcony in March. Top Ironman Ian Frodeno swam 3.8 km, cycled 180 km and ran 42 km – all without leaving his lockdown home in Girona, Spain – and all while raising 200,000 € to fight SARS-CoV-2.

With the severest restrictions lifted in many countries, part of the world has reverted to some normalcy already. Athletes have returned to training in small groups and even as teams, the fitness-minded are cycling and power walking in the great outdoors – or they are spinning and tread-milling at gyms.

However, subtleties have become very important these days, as the practice of virtually every sport is subject to new protocols. The social distancing between one sportsman and another is prescribed in detail, the wearing of masks and other protective equipment is stipulated, and the freedom of what is a pastime for most is suddenly very regimented.

Profound discussions should be held over sports in the (post-)pandemic world. I will follow some of them from today, 15 June 2020, during the Workshop Week by “Beyond Sport.” Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe DUBI and other panelists will discuss how fan engagement looks in a post-COVID world on Thursday 18 June.

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