Should the Tokyo Olympics be Cancelled?

Tristan Mayglothling vs. Jay Matthems
White desk lamp beside green plant

0:01Welcome to kicking off a podcast examining the big questions in sport. I'm John Mills, and I'm your host. I'm also a psychologist and a former coach myself. Each week I'm joined by my co hosts, Nelson Cortes, who's a biomechanist Fergus Guppy who's a physiologist. Jay matthems, who's a physiotherapist, Henry Tilley wall, who's a performance analyst, and Tristan Mayglothling who is a performance coach.

0:33In today's episode, we ask should the Tokyo Olympics be cancelled? In one word, yes or no? Should the Tokyo Olympics be cancelled? drift? Yes. Jay. Yes. Going to say no. The first question I've got for you is basically what is the context was the was the problem with the Olympics going ahead in 2021?

1:15Well, we're in Yeah, we're in a year into a pandemic. And I think the three of us are sat in various locations in the UK, where we the easing of restrictions mean that we're slightly slightly more relaxed about how we view or we're certainly coming out of a lockdown. Over in Japan, they currently have 6000 cases a day, they're in a state of emergency, which will last until the end of May. They have just cancelled, Thomas backs. He was going to go there at the end of the month, but they've cancelled that because of COVID. And 70% of Japanese citizens believe it should be cancelled delayed. According to Kyodo, I hope I've pronounced that right. Kyodo News poll. And I think part of part of hosting the Olympics is it's incredible. And we hosted the London Olympics recently. But But I don't know that we would host the Olympics. If we were in the situation we were in the middle of last summer when kids weren't in schools and, and so I think that we have to take into context a bit what's currently happening in Japan versus while we're sat here thinking about it, it's a very different environment.

2:46I guess from a more global perspective, though, Japan, Japan's the place that's in the hot seat, really, but they are, they are kind of holding the hopes and aspirations of athletes from around the world. So although it, although it is Japan that ultimately has to host the games, it's not just about Japan, right? It's about athletes from around the world. And it might be, we might be in a situation where some of these athletes have have already waited a year, they're getting older, they're not getting some of them and not getting any younger. And if they wait another year, or even another year after that, until they finally can compete. It kind of begs questions around when when the squats fixed and do what was the purpose of the Olympics, if it's a case of watching a load of old guys run around, if we're talking about the Olympics, 2020 and 2030. Like what point? At what point do we kind of have to just get on with this? Really? And if not Japan, maybe somewhere else?

3:54Yeah, I agree. I think in the UK, I think we take for granted how lucky we are at the moment to be in a position where our vaccination programmes gone really well. And I think although we've come through some traumatic times in the last year, I think it's, we can be a bit blind as to what's going on at home rather than watch instead of looking elsewhere. So I think I'd ask the question to you guys, what was the best thing about 2012 when the Olympics was hit was here, it was everybody getting involved. And that's the spirit of the Olympics, isn't it people being able to go in there masses to watch lots of different events, to find out new sports that they might not be interested in. I mean, for me, it was watching the watching the hockey, which I've never really been into beforehand. But it was it was amazing to be a part of it, even if it wasn't my sport. And it was just being there in the fury of all the fans and people just enjoying that the Olympics was here. And I felt like watching the teams even live on TV. I found It was really important that people could feel that their energy, and it was for the people. And I mean, that's what the Olympics is for, isn't it? It's about embracing cultures and people with different skill levels in a massive global event,

5:15I think is really interesting the way that everybody consumes sport differently and what they are looking for from from something like the Olympics. So for me, I didn't go to the Olympics in London, I probably wouldn't attend, I wouldn't probably wouldn't attend the Olympics. necessarily, I wouldn't. I'm not like against attending. But for me, the I basically only watch the finals most of the time. I'm one of those kind of Fairweather fans. Just because the thing that I'm really interested in is, I want to see the limits of human performance, I want to see the fastest runners and the highest jumpers and the guys that can go for the longest periods of time. And for me, I think that's that's what the Olympics is about. For me, it's kind of bringing everybody together to put the best that we've got almost gladiatorial, like, put the best that we've got in terms of our athletes together, and let them do battle to become hopefully the best in the world. What they do, yes, they might not break world records. But for me, you will there's a reason why we have Olympic record world record as kind of almost as the same standing is that the Olympics is held as as that kind of in that kind of esteem, right? It's it's getting an Olympic record is almost as good as getting a world record even if or as good as getting a world record. So for me, like that's why I consume I'm not I don't go for the people. I don't really, I'm not really interested in it for that I want to see gladiators compete to be the best they can be really.

6:55Yeah, I agree with that. I think the thing for me was on. You come back to Super Saturday when you had Jess Coronavirus, and Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah. The buzz around that stadium. I mean, I remember watching I don't really remember like, those guys winning and doing well. It was more about like the whole atmosphere that was captured in that Olympic Stadium. And not even thinking about it now. Just gives me goosebumps just thinking about like, the buzz and the roar. And like, I was watching it in my friend's house. And like, literally, we're all sitting there, we were just really quiet. After on when it was happening, it was just like, Wow, that is like we'll remember that as a feeling rather than something you've seen. And I think if you haven't, if you if you can't embrace everybody for an event, not the Olympics, and I'm not sure is it really what it costs it's worth having. But that's just where I stand on it. That's the feeling, I

7:50think, the what we're saying two things really about what what the Olympics or who the Olympics are for. Firstly, they rotate where they go partly so that each country that hosts getting experience, that you're talking about Jay where people can get involved, and the fans are involved. And then you also have a bit of John's talking about where the athletes are involved. And it's the you know, their opportunity to demonstrate how fast they can go and how quick they can run. And I think both of those things are really important, but both of them for this summer Olympics is going to be not not what we're used to. Because we don't, we won't have the fans engagement, families aren't able to attend. And then on top of that, you then have athletes just today there was a rowing crew who weren't able to do their qualifying event because one of the athletes got COVID COVID test, there'll be unknown amounts of people that have COVID or have had COVID. Another slight thing is that we we know that doping is reduced massively testing for people because of COVID restrictions of being able to go into people's houses and competition, etc. So from a from a fans and supporters view in Japan, they're not able to do what we would be used to doing and as a host, and then from the athletes point of view, there's a lot of welfare issues to do with the health not just about doing it during COVID. But also you want them to be naturally their best and, and there's an advantage of might have been taken where all the you know, the doping side is reduced, therefore, we can, you know, really hit a new level of performance. And I think those you know, the question really about the Olympics is who it's for, and we've identified that the two groups that we believe For, but actually, why is it being run? It's not being run for those two groups. I don't think, john, you mentioned about a mental health issue for the athletes height, if it gets cancelled, I can't imagine how catastrophic that will be for some of the athletes. But I feel that we're kind of being gaslit a bit that it's for them, I think it's, it's, it's one of two events that make up 75% of the iocs income. So if you cancel it, that's a lot of money. Japan, I don't know how much Japan have spent, but I read that they've overspent by $2.7 billion, just just to cover the COVID stuff, and the fact has been delayed. So I think we're at that point where we just the IC, need to recoup some of that money. And Tokyo, we're going to try and recoup some of it somehow, but without fans, and it seems to have worked when I say should you know, should the Olympics be cancelled? And I say yes. I'd love it if it's happened for the athletes. But I'm not entirely convinced where we are currently is happening for the athletes. I mean, it's happening for a financial situation that I'm not sure that's the right thing to risk people's health for finances. No,

11:17I think you're absolutely right. I suppose everything comes down to money ultimately, doesn't it? And as much as we like to think of the spirit of sport, wherever that may be, ultimately, that's been monetized for a very long time now, so. So yeah, no, I agree. I guess my position is that you've got a group of consenting adults that that if they are consenting, obviously, that that can go to compete to put themselves potentially at risk. And there's kind of a high risk, high reward strategy there in terms of whether to go or not. But they are adults, and they can make their own decisions. I guess the concern slightly is for the people of Japan more than the athletes themselves, because they don't have a say over whether athletes from around the world are being imported into their cities and their their cultures. So it could be done in such a way that the athletes were kept in a bubble completely in a bubble. Not that I think that's entirely possible. But I think at least they would be they would be opting into that. Whereas we've seen from sporting events, I think the tennis was a prime example. They were touring around still during the global pandemic. And they had, I think Australia's only had a few cases actually, really in the big scheme of things, compared to most places. And one of the big spikes was around the tennis, and the athletes coming in, and basically bringing the bringing the virus with them. And obviously, the people of Australia didn't have any say in that it was all about, it was all about the money. And it was all about TV and work kind of just so. So yeah, so yeah, I think I can see both sides. I just think if it was done in such a way that the athletes could go and safely compete against each other. And they are kind of maybe it's a slightly idealist position that that people had the opportunity to opt out. And I appreciate that some athletes really won't have that opportunity for a multitude of reasons, be it financial be age be knowing the next generation of athletes coming behind them are probably going to be better than them maybe in four years time. I guess. But from an idealistic perspective, I would like the athletes to have the opportunity to go and to be able to compete if we can do it safely. Jay,

13:48I'm just just thinking think of the pressure that the athletes are under in regards to not only a personal sort of position to get to they didn't fix but also the funding and the sponsorship they've had and the support. Like he there must be lots of athletes who are potentially thinking this is not a good idea for me. But due to the pressure they're under from what they've been helped along the way for training for best 45 years for this, this year's event. There's a lot of pressure on the guy shoulders to turn up, even if you don't, even if you're against that we don't believe in it. I reckon there's gonna be people pushing you to go Yeah.

14:24And athletes pushing themselves to go, you know, there'll be I imagine there'll be some athletes do it if they've had COVID themselves, because, you know, Olympians are the extreme of our environment and society and, and they are incredibly driven people. So I don't know that it's just that they'll feel pressure externally to go which you're right but also I think that they might feel pressure internally that you know, they're gonna see it through or this is their journey or you know, just who they are. Without the Olympics, what you know there's there's other mental health issues that might arise from their from them not going or choosing to not go. So yeah, I think it unfortunately probably puts athletes in that in the bit where they have to make a decision, that there's lots of people that can make that decision for them who aren't, because they're all toeing the sort of line of, you know, it's happening, therefore, we have to go and we funded you and money, etc. And actually, sometimes people need to just step in and say, your athletes will take this decision off your hands, because we're going to put your well being ahead of everything else. And sometimes that might mean, we're going to go because that's what we've trained for. And it might mean, we're not going to go because we're, we've evaluated the health concerns, and then it worked.

15:55I think that's kind of touching on one point that I kind of wanted to follow up with, actually with Jay, in terms of so I said that I, I watched the Olympics because I want to see the pinnacle of human ability, I guess, and something you mentioned trust about the guy in the boat with COVID, and how that's influenced the whole team in that in that qualifying round. So what what has happened in terms of preparations for the Olympics? Are the athletes actually going to be able to compete at the optimal level of their performance? Or is that just a pipe dream? That that is even a possibility? And if they're not completely fit, which I suspect is probably the case, because of everything that's gone on? I'd be interested. So she's kind of a two part question. The first one's really for trust. And the second is really for Jay around the likelihood of injury due to the lack of preparation that I can imagine many athletes, certainly in countries like ours that have been locked down for large periods of time. So I guess there's actually three questions there. Sorry for to drag this out. But also, if you think about that kind of cultural inequality between the Australian athletes with 1000 cases and the New Zealand athletes with virtually no cases, actually, they're a real advantage, because their athletes may have been kimete competing at a certain level over the last year, compared to us that haven't, because we've been locked down and sport was cancelled for a long period of time. Like, how does how those things feed into the decision making process of, of athletes as well? Sorry, there was a lot in that question. Can you even remember what the questions were? Three in there? Remember, the first one? Is? I guess the first is about the level of preparation. So I think trust is you're really well placed with your position as a, as a performance coach to really know how many athletes certainly within the UK, how well they are actually prepared to actually go and compete to their to their peak in in Tokyo potentially.

18:11Yeah, so I think that it's very different because of the lockdown. But the government have given a lot of our sports, if you were a certain level of performance, you were given the ability to continue to train, even if you were part of even when we were locked down. So for example, the rowers went away to Portugal in January, even though the country when kids weren't able to go to school. So they had special dispensation that to be able to perform, but actually last summer when they were meant to be at their peak. And a lot of sports will pay for that for years. So you have to hit certain performance targets on the way. But it's that key performance in every four years that will get your funding for the next four years, particularly at Olympic sports, not like football or tennis, but your you know, the ones that we only ever see for years and engage with and then forget about. So I think the performance side of things will have been impacted slightly because the program's got to change. But in this country, I think they the government have supported them as well as they can, a lot of the sports, but again, I think it will come even within this country or come down to how much money they ngbs have been given funding wise. And so the sports that successful are able to do it. And perhaps the sports that weren't successful at Rio, who don't have as much funding aren't able to get around things as easy because some of their athletes might have jobs. Whereas the more funded athletes, this is their job. So I think even within the UK, elite performance structure for the Olympics team, I think there'll be still some difference about where their performance levels are at. And then you take the individual performance level of that what they are able to do so I think I don't know, I don't know where we're going to be within the sports I don't. And then you say comparing it to other countries. How do we know about certain countries because their press, they talk about it. But other countries, we have no idea what they've been doing and how, how COVID is

20:19there's a lot of unknowns. And I guess there's always a lot of unknowns going into, into an Olympic build up like this. But the situation with COVID really just amplified some of those issues and added a whole host of new ones. So in terms of the preparations, and so you're suggesting that the training programmes cut could have been modified in such a way for lots of sports, that actually the risk of injury is probably not been heightened. But for many sports, where the athletes can't be whisked away to Portugal for however long on a training camp, because they're probably part time and was tougher to maintain a job, actually is those guys that are probably are higher risk of injury, maybe they're trying to catch up, maybe it's injury in the build up to the Olympics, where they're trying to try to make up last time or actually risk of injury whilst being there. What's your view on this Jake as a physio?

21:19Well, just to follow on a little bit from what Tristan was saying, I think a lot of athletes are probably training blind at the moment in regards to looking at their their outcome measures and their performance indicators as to that usually use competition against their peers to see where they're at and see how they need to modify their training. In regards to an injury point of view, I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing quite a few injuries leading up to the Olympics, when people are starting to really ramp up their training to really get ready for those events to be in peak condition. So a lot of these guys were planning for last year, and they're looking at working periodically, periodically towards this time. They've had to postpone that for a year. And I read an article today by it was one of the American female wrestlers. And I think her name was it was adaline grey. And she said she's just had to keep herself ticking and ticking along at the same level, which is just before she had entered a competition for a whole year. And she said that if the Olympics was to be, was to be postponed or be set back again, she'd be devastated just more more mentally than physically. She said, due to being having to work at that level for such a long time. I think from an injury point of view. I've got an example from project restart in the football, for instance, where lots of footballers couldn't train to the intensity in which they needed. And at the start of this football season, we saw a 42% increase in muscle muscular injuries in a five week period at the start of the season. So it shows you that preparation was curtailed, the preseason was shorter. There's no, there's not really much of a definitive answer as to why we hope the Olympics is going to happen. But there still must be a lot of doubt in regards to what's actually going to happen. So for athletes to get themselves ready, and get up to that peak performance level. With with limited notice, there's no doubt we're going to be injuries leading up to the Olympics. And I wouldn't be surprised to see lots of injuries in the event in the events themselves, just where people haven't been able to train, not only in the best camps available, but against their direct competitors within their national groups, for instance. So because that's the real barometer, isn't it, of knowing where you're at is being able to train with your compatriots. At the highest level, these guys can't necessarily do that until they go into a bubble weeks, or a few months before the Olympics. Your body goes from 60%, which you might think of an athlete, you're working at 85%. But really, you're lacking that stimulus from your colleagues to really push you to give you that extra extra few percentage. That's when injuries are probably going to be going to be happening now, in my opinion, and we see that in lots of different sports I've had to resume quickly after the pandemic.

24:24So my desire to see the peak of the pinnacle of human performance is pretty unlikely events then because it sounds like many athletes are going to be getting injured either on the way up or during those kind of qualifying rounds as well. I really wouldn't be surprised

24:41Yeah. Okay. So the likelihood is much higher. Just giving you the evidence of what we've seen at the high level sports that have started again after after last March.

24:54I just wanted to say a quick thank you for tuning into this episode. And if you've enjoyed just to encourage you To subscribe via whichever podcasting platform you listen through. Also, we're quite new. So if you could share with any colleagues or via social media, if you found this interesting, of course, then that would help others to find us and kind of let us know that we're on the right track. We'd also be really keen to hear from you. So you can put questions directly through the anchor.fm app. Or alternatively, if you want to email me, you can email john at team research lab.org. That's john at team research lab.org. And I will ask your questions on your behalf. Okay, back to the episode. I guess one of the things that you guys have mentioned that I hadn't thought of is actually around the selection process. So how are selectors even? Picking the team currently, if they have no real barometer of the athlete's current level of, of their current level of like performance? I don't know have you kind of heard any whisperings triste from within your camps around how difficult it is, or have people just kind of gone on previous form and things like that, rather than perhaps how they're competing currently.

26:12I think that again, it depends on the sport. So if you've got a sport that's funded quite well, and you've got athletes that have been funded on the way up, and not just when they're at the top end, you will have a good gauge of where where your ranking is. And then if you've had athletes retire, or, or have dropped down the rankings, it's been quite clear as to who who's going to make it. So I imagine British cycling, swimming, they know who their top athletes are, but they also know who the ones that were, you know, Tokyo might come too soon in 2020. But actually, for 2021, it's come at the right time. So these, again, I think, the sports that are funded well, like rowing, swimming, cycling, I imagine we'll have a good idea athletics will have a good idea of their rank order. And it might have changed its last year, but they'll have an understanding. And then I think they'll just go through their normal selection pattern to identify who those athletes are going to get the the medals. Or even in some of those cases, it's not to get medals, it's just to represent, which is incredible anyway, but whereas I think that you will have some of some schools that are funded slightly less, or the gaps between the competitors are bigger, and and if they've not been able to compete in that in that environment that Jay talked about where you're competing against your fellow athlete, whatever the sport you're driving each other on. And if you've not been able to do that, the gaps will be slightly bigger. And so we harder to calculate maybe who, who is on the way up and who's worth investing the future in versus who's holding on because Tokyo was perfect, and now it's Tokyo must one year,

28:02how much? How much sympathy Do you think selectors will have for those older athletes that have that this is probably their last games. And they would have been selected last year, but now, probably the young buck coming through is better placed? Usually, you're shaking your head trust, I kind of knew the answer when I was saying this, but you kind of think that maybe there's some kind of, I don't know, maybe it's the very, very top top athletes that may get some kind of loyalty, but I don't think there'll be very much either.

28:44But it's the top it's the top athletes that get your funding. So so the funding model comes from the fact that you need to win medals to get funding, and that that remains in place, either up to the foot Paris in 2024. So you you have to get your top performers. So you might have an eye to the future with your lower ranked athletes who may be making a fine or or maybe getting the experience of being an Olympian so that in Paris, they they're on the podium while they're at the top of the podium, that you might look there and go, Okay, that's where we'll back off future a little bit. But I don't think a performance director is gonna go will be loyal to you, despite the fact that you're not performing because if they don't get medals, they don't get the funding, they'll lose their job. But also, that's not how performance directors think, their fund, they're paid to get those medals and they think they're protecting their sport by getting those medals and getting funding. So you're loyal to people to a certain point. But actually it's the coaches that are probably more loyal because they're the ones that have the relationship. The selectors have to be have to be slightly removed. And objective about if you're saying this is our selection criteria for the Olympics. Nowhere in there, does it say, oh, but they're on their way out, therefore we'll give them another go. Or if it does, it will say that anyway. So and I be amazed that there's no I

30:11was just thinking of like, like a Steve Redgrave like, like that final Olympics where he went, obviously he, I think it was it hadn't been 20 years since he first Olympics or something like that.

30:23Yeah, 84. So

30:25I knew of some ridiculous number. And I was just thinking, given the all he had achieved that extra year probably would have probably would have killed him, frankly. But I wondered if given everything he'd done, whether the performance director might have just, I don't know, just

30:45Well, there's an example in the rowing team at the moment. So Helen Glover won gold medal in 2012, was the first gold medal, the team won in London with her pair of pairs, find a hair styling. And then in 2016, they both came back and won in Rio, Helen then took three years off, or four years off, had three children supported, you know, did that did some major work. And then Tokyo was delayed, and she did some training, but very under the radar. And she only got announced a couple of months ago that she was coming back. And her first race, she raced, and they won and that she's a European champion after being out for years. So there's that that's not a loyalty, she's, she's an outstanding athlete. But if she wasn't good enough, she would just not get into the boat. That's, that's, for me in terms of the selection and Olympic level, nobody's given something. But also I don't think that's the mentality, the athletes, I think they expect to work for what they're what they're going to do, because they understand that Part one is getting in your team, then you've got to compete against everyone else. So so if you're struggling to get in your team, you're not gonna compete at a world level or get an Olympic medal if you can barely get into the team that you're in your domestic, your national team. So I think Olympians think in a way that we don't, they think about, you know, they're just driven and think about the such extreme that I don't think if you said Oh, you can have this seat, because you did for Olympics already, they said that

32:21like that X Factor ability doesn't come into the thinking that that, like I my whole backgrounds football, so I kind of, I look at the amount of opportunities that that guys that have, like, a couple of good games get, because it's seen as well, that person did it once. So there's the upper limit of that performance. And we can get back to that with the right coaching, the right support and the right guidance, actually, if we give them the right context that they could do that again. But you're suggesting that, that that kind of thinking doesn't play into a it's not like a you can't just come and switch on and be number six in the boat to go from number six to number one, during that Olympic Games? Because of I don't know, some kind of extra factor of performance that go on Jake, I

33:10think a lot of it is it comes down to whether it's an individualistic sport and a team sport. So I mean, if you're a selector, obviously Now is the time to be more objective than ever, isn't it? So if you're Can you imagine you come back to that and you've got a number six row for instance, he might be not as not as effective with his output as someone else or as the other five, for instance. But the team dynamics might revolve around that one person. So that is probably a question for you, john, to be fair in regards to do you think that comes into play because it's obviously no room for sentiment but there must be in the selectors minds and the coaches minds and even even interesting the when you're selecting a team or when you're when you're planning for an event you must think this this this participant isn't going to give me what someone else is but from a dynamic or from a psychological point of view, they're they're actually got a bit more about them than the person that's got a bit more ability physically, would you do you think that comes into play or?

34:20This Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking in the sense of the Steve Redgrave example say he's the seventh best athlete in the country and we're I think I suspect we're probably showing our ignorance around roaming here because we keep saying the six packs. I don't even know how many people are in the boat but like the big The boat is how many people were in the boat with. It's true, but Steve Redgrave was it for in the boat for his

34:47Yeah, he was in a for most of the time. Yeah. So So and it's it's two on each side. So he would have to be in the top to get into

34:54Say for example, there's a young guy that's that's never been to the Olympics. That's That's too and Steve Redgrave is coming in at three on that left with the benefit, the fact that he would bring in the terms of his experience, the media exposure that there all of the media would be talking to him and taking all of the pressure off of the other guys on the boat kind of would that not outweigh to some extent, those few milliseconds in performance that may be different that could sway could swear performance directors thinking? Or you literally know the times not there. He's not in a boat, frankly.

35:36Well, sometimes you don't, you don't time them. So sometimes you might not not necessarily Olympic level, they'll have a very clear idea of their rank order. So I think it would be very difficult to justify but if we've moved away from rowing, which is a very objective a to be fast as you can, when you look at a team, like Jay mentioned to hockey, I'm sure there's some dynamics about you know, coaches and selectors will put some people in already benefit the team and they've got experience and like you say, john, taking the pressure off and nor giving their experience, but also we've much has been made about the All Blacks, you know, the the policy they have on players, you know, good, good people make better All Blacks was better people and better All Blacks. And, and I think people have tried to replicate that to the point of this is how you create culture, as you know, we have a no, no dickheads policy, just like the All Blacks. And actually, it's a bit of a mirage, because they also have the best players and they can select from countries that aren't even from New Zealand and Accenture. You Yeah, yeah. But But also, that's quite a subjective thing. But is that because Is that why they win? Or do they win? And that's just one's, you know, part of it? Or? Or would they continue to win, and if that wasn't part of their culture, so it's really difficult to pinpoint the actual bit that people really deliver on there. And we're really bad, I think it's saying they won. Therefore, selecting that older person who's who's took the pressure off was really great. Or we didn't win and having these, you know, older, slightly less performance people didn't really impacted our Well actually, how do you? What was the measure of that? And how do you measure that? And so and also for those sorts of teams that are together for a long time? How do you measure it as you go along? Because once you've selected something, it's very difficult to then in certain sports, you have to select and that's it. So you might select thinking, Oh, this would be good for team dynamics. And then, you know, you go away for a month on a training camp and realise, yes, isn't working. But you That's it, that's your selection? So yeah, it's

38:00definitely a challenge. Yeah, no, I think, I think is, I don't think there's one right way of approaching any of this stuff. And yeah, I totally agree around some of the sleight of hand around. Talking about things like our no dickheads policy, but we'll probably come on to that another episode. So let's not give too much away in episode one. I'm just conscious of the time. My last question really was, what's the general consensus from the athletes in terms of do they want it to go ahead? Or? Or would they prefer it to be postponed cancelled? Or is there no consensus.

38:39So from the athletes that I've spoken to, and the people that are involved, I think that they're, they feel their tasks and Olympic year with focusing on their performance and the things that they can control. So I would suggest that they until they're told otherwise, they will be focused on the Olympics happening. And then separate to that, I think that we've seen a wave of athletes retire in the year since Tokyo was postponed to 18 months now really, and some of that will be because they saw it as and shelf of their Olympic careers. But also I imagined some of them may have COVID at whenever find out about or had risk your thought there's a risk to do with their family, etc. So I don't think we'll ever really know the ins and outs in the depth of that.

39:32It's, it's a fascinating topic. Okay, gents, thank you very much for your time, and we'll be back with another episode next week. About does winning matter. Thanks very much. All right

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