British Rowing statement on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

An update on GB Rowing Team activity and discussions relating to the Games


GB's men's eight at the World Rowing Championships. Credit: Nick Middleton

Updated Statement – 24 March 2020

We very much welcome the decision from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone and are grateful to have certainty around the status of the Games. We are now able to start planning how we best support our athletes, coaches and all our programme staff throughout this time, both within British Rowing and as a wider group of Olympic and Paralympic sports in the UK. In these uncertain times, Tokyo 2020* will be a fantastic event for our rowers and for sports fans around the world to look forward to.

* The Games will remain known as “Tokyo 2020” even though they are taking place in 2021

Original Statement – 23 March 2020

The health and safety of our athletes, staff and our wider community is our highest priority. We welcome the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to review contingency options but urge rapid decision-making for the health and wellbeing of our athletes and the sporting community. We look forward to discussions with other national governing bodies and our partners the British Olympic Association (BOA), British Paralympic Association (BPA) and UK Sport over the coming days.

Following government advice, on Friday 20 March the decision was taken to close the National Training Centre at Caversham and move athletes to a home-based program. Athletes have been provided with home training equipment such as ergos and bikes, while staff members will work with them remotely.

British Rowing CEO Andy Parkinson said: “This is an extremely difficult time for society worldwide and here in the UK, and we have to balance our responsibilities as an international team with our concern for the wellbeing of our athletes, staff and our community.

“The athletes and staff at British Rowing have handled the disruption to their training  positively and professionally and we are doing everything we can to support each other and our friends, families and community during this time.

“We now look to the IOC to make a decision as quickly as possible in the interests of the health and wellbeing of the global community.”

Rowing’s international calendar has been hugely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Earlier this month World Rowing (FISA) took the decision to cancel this summer’s three World Rowing Cups as well as the Final Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regattas. Likewise, the GB Rowing Team will no longer be travelling to their planned international training camps.