American swimming star Ryan Lochte has offered up an outside-the-box idea today that would make it possible for this summer’s Olympic swimming events in Tokyo to start as planned in July.
The controversial swimmer’s idea hit the airwaves only hours after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced it has postponed the Tokyo Games indefinitely because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Lochte, who has come out of retirement to try to qualify for these summer games, sent a Tweet to USA Swimming today with a clever workaround idea. In that message, he proposed filling the racing pools with alcohol-laced hand sanitizer lotion so the athletes would not get infected with the virus. His Tweet read:
“I saw on Facebook that hand sanitizers laced with alcohol kill 60 percent of germs and bacteria, and it’s better and faster at doing this than soap and water. If used in these Olympic pools, the athletes would have no risk of catching the virus. I think we should go ahead with the swimming events. I’m getting old and can’t wait indefinitely to try to win another Olympic Gold Medal. I urge USA Swimming not to postpone this summer Olympic swimming. It’s not necessary. My idea would work.”
#alcohol #gasstationdrinking #handsanitizer #coronavirus
Lochte’s Tweet has gained support from at least one member of Congress, Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). Yesterday Paul swam in the Capitol Hill swimming pool only to find out the same day he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
“I think Lochte’s idea has merit and I see no reason to postpone the swimming events at the Olympics,” he said. “Although the pool I swam in did not have hand sanitizer in it, making it far more likely that I infected other members of Congress, Lochte’s really on to something. If the Olympic pools are full of alcohol, there’s no way the swimmers can catch the disease.”
Paul said he be would be writing legislation today for the Senate and House to pass that would allow the swimming events to go on. And then Congress would send that passed bill to the IOC, which would then consider Lochte’s brilliant concept.
This scenario would mark the first time the U.S. Congress would have passed legislation based on an idea from a maligned Olympic swimmer that they then used to try to persuade the IOC to reverse a decision.
“I am so psyched Lochte has stepped up to make sure we still have swimming this summer in Tokyo,” said Caeleb Dressel, the best male swimmer in the world. “I know the virus is very contagious, but if the water is full of alcohol, the swimmers will be safe.”
IOC officials are already mulling over the concept. Their current thinking is that if everybody has to swim in the alcohol-laced pool water, then it’s a level playing field – and that upholds the Olympic spirit.
“Early research tells us that swimming in alcohol will likely slow down the swimmers, so we are less likely to see a lot of world records,” said the president of the IOC. “And it may cause them to choke or get sick if they swallow any of the water. But we need to do more testing.”
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