100 days out from Paris Olympics, Team USA organizers have it covered

100 days out from Paris Olympics, Team USA organizers have it covered

NEW YORK (WOOD) — The Olympic torch is lit, the relay is underway and the world on Wednesday marked 100 days until the start of the Paris Olympics.

At the Team USA Media Summit in New York City, athletes and organizers said there’s a lot of excitement and the clock ticks down, but still a lot of work to be done.

Officials with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee say they are ready to take hundreds of athletes to the City of Light. They’ve created a training center for athletes to use while there.

“In Paris, we have a high-performance center at a world-class facility called Athletica, where we essentially transport our Olympic and Paralympic training center in Colorado Springs to Paris. It has everything from sports medicine, nutrition, training facilities,” USOPC Chief of Sport and Athlete Services Rocky Harris said.

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This will be the first Olympics with family and friends in the stands since the Winter Olympics in South Korea in 2018, a welcome change for all involved.

“Tokyo year, I got the silver medal,” sprinter Kenny Bednarek of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, recalled. “It was just awkward just because the fans weren’t there. It was the final race, big moment and then you hear crickets. You’re kind of like, ‘Ain’t nobody here.'”

But more people means more security challenges.

“We’ve been working closely with French security, the organizing committee, the State Department, especially diplomatic security, and ensuring that we have a comprehensive security plan in place for Team USA,” Nicole Deal, the USOPC chief of security and athlete services, said.

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This will also be the first Games since South Korea without coronavirus testing for the athletes. It’s a relief. But keeping athletes healthy — especially when it comes to their mental health — is a top priority.

“All of our psychological services providers are dually certified in mental health and sports psychology, and we have a ton of other resources that we provide to Team USA athletes to keep them both physically and mentally healthy,” USOPC Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Finnoff said.

More than 800 Team USA athletes will complete in the Paris Olympics and Paralympics. But so far, only about 15% of the team has been named.

The Paris Olympics run July 26 to Aug. 11.

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