Six Polish swimmers have packed their bags and will not be participating in the 2020 Olympic Games after being forced to leave Tokyo due to a shocking administrative error.
If this sounds confusing, well it is.
The Polish Swimming Federation was forced to cut its team of 23 members to 17 after mistakenly sending too many athletes to Japan following a misunderstanding of the FINA qualifying standards.
“I express great regret, sadness and bitterness about the situation related to the qualification of ours players for the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Pawel Slominski, the President of the Polish Swimming Federation said.
“Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the players, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation (PZP) is understandable to me and justified.”
The six Polish swimmers, Alicja Tchórz, Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polańska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Holub, have returned to Poland and are planning on taking legal action in response to their country’s blunder.
The athletes expressed their frustrations — and rightfully so — over social media as they said their goodbyes and headed back to Poland.
“Imagine dedicating five years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event, giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family,” Tchórz wrote in a Facebook post.
The Polish swim team has united together and signed an open letter that has called for the Polish Swimming Federation board to resign. They demand the board take full accountability.
“Several of us had to come back to Poland because of the neglect, and our dream of becoming Olympians have been taken away from us,” they said in the letter.
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