Around 600 Austrian elite athletes back to training

Beginning from today, around 600 Austrian top athletes will be allowed to restart training, as all seven national Olympic Training Centres and some other top sports facilities opened again after a five-weeks stop due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, just in time for the restart, 10,000 face masks have been sent from the Chinese National Olympic Committee (NOC) to the headquarter of the Austrian NOC in Vienna.

“We sincerely thank the Chinese NOC for their generous help,” Austrian NOC President Karl Stoss said. “We have already been cooperating together, for instance providing them with know-how regarding winter sports for the Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing.”

“In these COVID-19 days, we should be as cautious as possible. While, at the same time, it’s really important to get back to normal working practices and training routine”, added Stoss.

“If a professional athlete needs to reduce training for more than 3/4 weeks, it could become crucial for one’s health. In addition, it’s about equal opportunities. In some European countries, top athletes can practise in quite normal conditions, so it’s good that we get close to normality again too.”

With the reopening of the seven Olympic Centers (Dornbirn, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz, Salzburg-Rif, St. Pölten, Vienna), the Austrian NOC delivered hundreds of face masks to these national facilities as well as directly to some of the athletes.

“Health still needs to be the first priority,” explained Austrian NOC Secretary General and EOC Executive Committee Member Peter Mennel. “The current situation requests a lot of discipline and responsibility from all of us. We called out all of our athletes to respect all the rules and safety measures, especially when they are practising indoor.”

Some of the measures announced by the Austrian Government include two meters of social distance and 20 square meters space per athlete for all indoor trainings.