Written by Andrew Atkins.
The 2020 Summer Olympics were set to take place in Tokyo, Japan, but like all other major sporting events this year, they have been delayed. With the recent announcement to push the Olympics back to the summer of 2021, this has allowed athletes all around the world to train for an additional year before competing. The Olympics have been cancelled three times in their history, 1916, 1940, and 1944, so the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is glad that they are able to still have the games.
In light of this unforeseen event, the IOC recently announced that they will be expanding the field of athletes and who can qualify for the games. The athletes who have already qualified will be allowed to compete, but there are also several other categories of people who will be allowed to participate. Collegiate athletes who were rostered in the 2019-2020 season in America are part of this expanded list of people. In Europe or other countries where collegiate sports are not as prominent, they will be simply opening up more spots for athletes to qualify. The IOC is attempting to use the delay in the games to garner more support for the Olympics. Expanding qualifications to potentially include collegiate or semi-pro athletes, will help for more athletes to be involved in these storied games. While usually aspiring Olympic athletes train for a large portion of their lives in order to just have a shot at making the games, St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) announced on March 31 that they are committed to sending athletes to the 2021 games.
This was a shocking announcement considering that it is unknown if any SMCM athletes were previously training for the Olympic games. The college however issued a plan as to how they are going to get their athletes to the games.
It appears that SMCM will be using a loophole in order to help their athletes qualify for the games. The qualification levels will be based on college classification. Therefore all Division I athletes will compete, all Division III athletes will compete, adn all Division III athletes will compete. The top athletes in each event, from each classification will move on to the Olympics. Since SMCM has recently been defined as The National Public Honors College, they appear to be in a classification of their own. Therefore, any SMCM athlete registered in an Olympic event will automatically qualify for the Olympics. The college is going to send out a survey to all athletes to see which sports they would be interested in competing in. Following a preliminary skills exam, they will then get sent to a world class trainer for the next year to make sure that they will be Olympic ready.
This will not be the first time that SMCM athletes have competed in the Olympics. The first two to do it were Bruce Merritt, ‘84, who competed in one man canoeing in the 1980 and 1984 Olympic games, and Scott Steele, ‘81, who won a silver medal in windsurfing during the 1984 Olympics.
Disclaimer: This article was published as a part of our April Fools Edition.