The head coach of the United States women’s basketball team, Dawn Staley, has cast doubt over whether she would attend the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games without a significant improvement in containing the coronavirus pandemic.
Staley, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, was named head coach of the national team in 2017.
She was set to feature at her first Games as a coach this summer, before the coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of Tokyo 2020 to July 23 to August 8 2021.
Staley expressed her support for the decision at the time.
“Like so many of the decisions we are making right now, this was a difficult one to hear, but absolutely the right one to make,” she said.
“Postponing the Olympics is a significant measure, but one that brings relief for all the athletes and coaches who know that we need and are praying that we get enough time and distance to see COVID-19 end.”
Speaking to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Staley then revealed she had fallen ill after attending the 2016 Olympics in Rio as an assistant coach.
Her previous experience means she is now cautious about going to Tokyo 2020 if a vaccination for coronavirus is not accessible.
“The last time, in Rio, I got sick.
“I came back with, like, pericarditis,” Staley said.
“I do not want to go into a danger zone and possibly contract something we don’t have an answer for.”
Staley was part of the American gold medal-winning team at the Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
As coach, Staley led the US to victory at the 2018 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Spain.
Read More: US women’s basketball head coach Staley casts doubt on attending Tokyo 2020 2020-05-24 09:35:20