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‘This is far bigger than our dreams right now. Now more than ever is a time to think bigger than yourself. Protect yourself, your families and your communities’.
Melissa Bishop-Nriagu (Canadian 800 m record holder).
The current coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic presents an extraordinary public health challenge. The WHO defines a pandemic as the global spread of a new disease for which there is little or no pre-existing immunity in the human population. Worldwide, we have seen ambitious public health measures implemented by governments, non-governmental organisations and individuals alike. Yet, there is still more to be done to ‘flatten the curve’ and mitigate the impact of this pandemic.
Sporting ‘mega-events’ are international, out of the ordinary and generally large in composition.1 These include the Olympic Games, which provide mass-spectacle for the public2 while producing significant health and socioeconomic impacts for host nation(s),3 including an increased risk for transmission of infectious diseases.4 Therefore, pandemics like covid-19 bring added urgency to examine the impacts of hosting sporting mega-events.
As sporting mega-events have been cancelled and postponed in response to covid-19, the rhetoric emerging from international sporting organisations, such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has emphasised the importance of protecting athlete health. While this messaging around the decision to postpone …
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