6 Polish Olympians leave Tokyo after nation sends too many swimmers by mistake

·1 min read
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 15:  Joanna Zachoszcz of Poland competes in the Women's 10km Marathon Swimming on day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Fort Copacabana on August 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Most of the team has signed an open letter to the Polish Swimming Federation demanding the board’s resignation after the dream-crushing blunder. (Getty)

The Polish Swimming Federation has some explaining to do.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Poland had to send six swimmers home after mistakenly selecting too many athletes for the Tokyo Olympics.

The country had sent 23 competitors to participate in the Games, but needed to return six in order to meet the 17-person maximum enforced by FINA, the international governing body tasked with overseeing Olympic water sports events.

“I express great regret, sadness and bitterness about the situation,” Polish Swimming Federation president Pawel Slominski stated in a statement.

“Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the swimmers, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable to me and justified.”

Unfortunately for him, his sadness and regret don’t seem to be cutting it for some of the athletes who were sent home. One of the swimmers who had their dream shattered, two-time Olympian Alicja Tchorz, took to Facebook to vent about the error.

“Imagine dedicating five years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event, giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family and your dedication results in a total flop,” she wrote.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of the Polish swimming team has signed an open letter to the Polish Swimming Federation, demanding the board’s resignation after the crucial blunder.

If there’s one consolation for those six athletes, it’s that they won’t have to sleep on a cardboard bed for the next few weeks.

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