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Olympic hopefuls react to CDC travel recommendations

Posted at 10:17 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 01:17:03-04

The safety of the Olympics is in question with the CDC saying they don’t recommend traveling to Japan this summer.

Santa Maria Swimmers Claire Tuggle and Parker Reynolds, who are set to leave in June for the Olympic Trials in Omaha, continue to prepare for Japan despite the outside noise.

Tuggle said, “I made my trials cut when I was 12. That’s a lot of years of waiting.”

Reynolds said, “I made these back in summer of 2019, so it’s been a year-and-a-half.”

With several weeks of long course practice in the books, the swimmers have been on a steady grind in pursuit of making the Olympic team and, in turn, heading to Japan in the summer.

Tuggle said, “There’s not any way I wouldn’t go unless team USA and the Olympics committee said no. At this point there are no foreign spectators. I’ve known that for a while, so I’ve gotten that in my head.”

Reynolds said, “It’s more of travelers, not athletes, that they’re worried about.”

With the CDC recommending people not to travel to japan, the Olympics will be impacted by having no fans or additional coaches.

Santa Maria Swim Club Head Coach Michael Ashmore will stay in the USA because of the safety measures.

Ashmore said, “There are no spectators allowed at the Olympics. I’m not sure why anybody would go to japan anyways, and the athletes seem to be outside of that, at least that is what we’re hearing. The Olympics staff would go. Everything we’ve seen on it is going to be team and support staff only.”

But for athletes like Reynolds and Tuggle that have trained their entire lives just to make the Olympic trials Omaha, giving up on that opportunity is not a decision they say they plan on making.

Reynolds said, “The Olympics is obviously the best goal there is.”

Tuggle said, “If I gave up the Olympics this year and turned around in four years and got surgery or something crazy like that, that would be a regret of mine.”

USA Water Polo hopefuls, Jamie and Ryann Neushul said they plan on heading to Japan if they make the team considering they put five years of work in to get there.

While the Olympics will not allow fans, Reynolds and Tuggle will be competing in front of crowds in Omaha as the Olympic Trials are operating at 60 percent capacity.