The effects of climate change are staring athletes dead in the eye.

The increased expenses of cooling Stadia around the world should be disturbing enough.

It’s full time athletes advocate for the environment.

Yes, climate change affects everybody.

The thing is, I can list everyday people who try to spread knowledge about it. I remember reaching out to Suzanne Stanley, CEO of the Jamaica Environment Trust because I was curious.

I wanted to know more about the environment and climate change and I wanted to share that knowledge with others. She answered all my questions.

There aren’t many athletes who, with their millions of Instagram followers and big endorsement contracts who have taken similar steps. Maybe it isn’t their job, but it is their business.

Sport contributes to climate change in more ways than we think. Researchers have even dubbed the industry’s impact on the environment, an ‘inconvenient truth’.

Here’s one example. To fill a stadium ahead of an event, athletes, spectators and the media travel. This travel impacts the environment in major ways. Air travel, driving by bus, taxi, or personal vehicles add to the regular release of carbon dioxide into the air.

Carbon dioxide traps heat— increasing the global temperature. As places get hotter, you may find just as sport impacted the environment, the environment will now begin to impact sport.

At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, water breaks became a regular part of the game. Interestingly, water breaks just to help footballers survive 90 minutes on the pitch are expected to be part of the sport for the foreseeable future. Will we wait until the medical requirements for playing a game of football become too prohibitive for the game to be played? Maybe that is too far down the road for some of us to look.

Cutting down trees increases temperatures as well. We need trees because they absorb carbon dioxide. Less carbon dioxide, less trapping of heat, cooler temperatures.

However, every few years, there are a number of cities and/or countries that bid on major international events like the World Cup or the Olympic Games. For a bid to be successful, that country or city has to prove it can provide the facilities to host those games.

Yes, you guessed it, these stadia are going to be built at the expense of trees. Trees in the construction, as well as trees just to make space.

Sports like car racing contribute to the carbon footprint. These athletes get paid to do a sport that glorifies the internal combustion engine. When income is involved (and lots of it) it’s easy to turn a blind eye.

Formula One racing, for instance, is a billion-dollar-per-year business, climate change be damned.

NASCAR is another racing entity that hovers around the billion-dollar mark as well, but the need for big engines and blinding speed will mean, unlike the circuit has done with the Black Lives Matters campaign, there won’t be too much change.

Thank God for Formula E!

What I’m saying is, we all have a part to play in spreading awareness about climate change. This includes how we contribute to it and ways to mitigate/adapt to it. But athletes are barely doing anything. Hardly ever utilizing their following.

Why aren’t the voices from athletes posting information about climate change on social media platforms as big as the carbon footprint their sports leave?

Let me make some suggestions that won’t hurt an athlete.

There are fun and accurate infographics about climate change that are free to share. Infographics aren't overwhelming— this is good for short attention spans. They give relevant information quickly and clearly. The visuals help too.

But before athletes can share information, they have to educate themselves. Luckily, they can ask around as I did.

There are athletes who do their part and are providing an example for others to follow.

Elaine Thompson was the ambassador for NuhDuttyUpJamaica and participated in the International Coastal Cleanup Day in 2017.

It’s an eye-opening experience to see just how much waste is collected.

Last but not least, and I don’t envisage this happening anytime soon, but athletes and the associations that fund events need to begin sanctioning countries that don’t take climate change seriously. Don’t compete in those countries. Let’s see the reformative power of sport at work.

The lack of advocacy from athletes would suggest they aren’t impacted by climate change.

Maybe their spacious houses have a pool and air conditioning to keep them cool. Perhaps they fly out to another country when the weather in their own takes a turn for the worse, who knows?

What I do know is climate change affects everyone. We all need to speak up about it.

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

There have been rumours that World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is no longer being coached by the MVP Track Club and the man who brought her to stardom, coach, Stephen Francis.

An 11-year-old British skateboarding prospect for the Tokyo Olympics is "lucky to be alive" after she suffered a harrowing crash in training.

Sky Brown vowed to "come back even stronger" from the accident that saw her airlifted to hospital with fractures to her skull and breaks to her left hand and wrist.

Brown had been training with Tony Hawk, a superstar of the sport, at his California base on Thursday.

Video footage of the lead-up to the crash was posted on the youngster's Instagram account, which is managed by her mother, Mieko, revealing the moment Brown seemingly attempts to cross from one ramp to another.

It showed her appearing to lose momentum and being unable to keep up with the skateboard, before she begins to fall as the footage is stopped.

She landed head-first on her hand. Emergency services and a helicopter are pictured in the video before the injured youngster is shown in her hospital bed.

Brown says to the camera: "I don't usually post my falls or talk about them because I want people to see the fun in what I do, but this was my worst fall.

"And I just wanted everyone to know that it's okay, don't worry, I'm okay. It's okay to fall sometimes and I'm just going to get back up and push even harder."

She added in a written note: "I’m excited to come back even stronger and even tougher."

Hawk responded to Brown's Instagram post by sending the message: "Worst day ever. Hope your surgery went well."

Brown's father Stu, quoted on the BBC, said: "Sky landed head-first off a ramp on her hand. When she first came to hospital, everyone was fearful for her life.

"Sky had the gnarliest fall she's ever had and is lucky to be alive."

Brown is hoping to become Britain's youngest Olympian at a summer Games next year.

Team GB sent her a message on Twitter, saying: "Get well soon, Sky Brown. We know you'll return stronger than ever."

Skateboard GB CEO James Hope-Gill said: "Our thoughts are with Sky and her family, and we wish her a speedy recovery."

Dwayne Bravo has been out of international cricket for a while and when he returned most recently for the West Indies, he looked rusty.

The Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled if the coronavirus makes hosting the event in its revised 2021 date unsafe.

That is the stark warning from International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, who sees no viable option to further delay the Games.

Local organisers have admitted there is no scope to push the Olympics – originally scheduled to begin in July this year – back to 2022.

And Bach acknowledged the fact the Games would either have to be staged next year, or not at all.

"Quite frankly, I have some understanding for this, because you can't forever employ 3,000 or 5,000 people in an Organising Committee," he told the BBC.

"You can't every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide of all the major federations. You can't have the athletes being in uncertainty."

Key stakeholders are having to consider contingency plans for a variety of scenarios should the Tokyo Olympics go ahead, but the IOC is resistant to the idea of them taking place behind closed doors.

"This is not what we want," Bach said. "Because the Olympic spirit is about also uniting the fans and this is what makes the Games so unique that they're in an Olympic Stadium, all the fans from all over the world are together.

"But when it then would come to the decision... I would ask you to give me some more time for consultation with the athletes, with the World Health Organisation, with the Japanese partners."

 

 

 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) anticipates incurring costs of up to $800million over the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games.

It was confirmed in March the Games would be put back to July 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The IOC executive board on Thursday approved a financial plan to deal with the crisis months before the Olympics were due to start.

A mammoth sum of up to $650m will be set aside for the IOC to cover the cost of organising the rescheduled Games.

An aid package of up to $150m for the Olympic movement - including international federations, national Olympic committees and IOC-recognised organisations - has also been approved.

The IOC stated it is "undergoing a deep analysis process to evaluate and assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on all of its operations".

IOC president Thomas Bach said: "The Olympic movement is facing an unprecedented challenge.

"The IOC has to organise postponed Olympic Games for the first time ever, and has to help its stakeholders come through this global crisis.

"This new situation will need all our solidarity, creativity, determination and flexibility. We shall all need to make sacrifices and compromises. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures.

"This situation requires every one of us to do our part, and this applies to all of us, including the IOC. With today's financial plans, we are addressing these needs."

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates believes Tokyo in 2021 could be the greatest Games ever.

Scheduled for this year, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coates believes the extra wait for a Games could position Tokyo to be the best Olympics of all-time.

"Because we all must wait longer than the already long wait for an Olympics, the Games of Tokyo will gently but perceptibly echo the sheer joy and relief of the other delayed Olympics of Antwerp in 1920 and London in 1948," he told the AOC annual general meeting on Saturday.

"Itself, begging the question: will Tokyo usurp Sydney as the greatest Games ever? I believe the Tokyo Olympics may ultimately be amongst the greatest Games ever, if not the greatest.

"And putting the parochialism of a proud Sydney boy aside and in the spirit of Citius, Altius, Fortius, I certainly hope Tokyo will be."

Looking further ahead, Queensland is expected to make a bid to host the 2032 Olympics.

Coates believes the Games would be just what the economy in the state needs after the coronavirus pandemic.

"There is already a need for jobs and growth in the Queensland economy arising from the impact of COVID-19," he said.

"Our partner three levels of government recognised a potential 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games as a critical part of the state and nation's economic recovery in the short term, quite apart from all of the long-term health, wellbeing, economic and sporting legacies.

"When they tell us the moment is right to do so, we will resume and elevate dialogue with the IOC [International Olympic Committee]. A decision could be as early as 2022 or 2023.

"The opportunity is clear and exciting."

World Athletics has launched a $500,000 fund alongside the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) to help athletes affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic.

The world of sport has been decimated by the outbreak of COVID-19, which has seen the Olympic Games in Tokyo postponed by a year until 2021.

That had a knock-on effect with the World Athletics Championships, originally scheduled for 2021 in Oregon, pushed back by 12 months, while the 2020 European Championships have been cancelled.

A World Athletics statement said the fund will be used to help athletes who have lost the majority of their income from the suspension of international competition.

Resources from the 2020 and 2021 budgets of the IAF, of which Prince Albert II of Monaco is honorary president, will be allocated to help athletes. 

World Athletics president and IAF chair Sebastian Coe will front "an expert multi-regional working group to assess the applications for assistance, which will be submitted through World Athletics' six Area Associations".

Olympic champion and 1500 metres world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj and Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi are among the members of the working group, which will convene in the coming week for talks over how to award and distribute grants to individual athletes and to assess means of raising additional monies for the fund.

"I would especially like to thank Hicham for bringing this idea to us, and Prince Albert for his strong support of this project," Coe said. 

"I am in constant contact with athletes around the world and I know that many are experiencing financial hardship as a consequence of the shutdown of most international sports competition in the last two months. 

"Our professional athletes rely on prize money as part of their income and we're mindful that our competition season, on both the track and road, is being severely impacted by the pandemic. 

"We are hopeful that we will be able to stage at least some competition later this year, but in the meantime we will also endeavour, through this fund and additional monies we intend to seek through the friends of our sport, to help as many athletes as possible."

El Guerrouj added: "The pandemic is causing economic pain to people from all parts of society, including athletes, and this is a time when we must come together as a global community to help each other. 

"I am delighted that Seb and World Athletics reacted so positively to my suggestion that we create a fund for athletes, and have made it happen with the support of the International Athletics Foundation. 

"The suspension of competition has had a huge impact on many professional athletes because they can't earn prize money so I'm really pleased that we have found a way to assist them."

Prince Albert II said he hopes the initiative can help athletes continue preparations for next year's Games.

"I created more than 35 years ago the International Athletics Foundation with the late Primo Nebiolo to encourage and promote athletics and grant financial assistance to athletics federations and the most deserving athletes," he said. 

"Since its inception the Foundation has distributed for these purposes more than $30million. I am delighted that we can put our resources behind this initiative so we can make a difference to the lives of athletes who are suffering financially at this time. 

"We hope that this support will help those athletes preparing for international competition, including next year's Olympic Games, to sustain their training, support their families and that this will relieve them of some stress in these uncertain times."

The Olympic Games in Tokyo will be scrapped rather than postponed again if they cannot be held in 2021, according to event president Yoshiro Mori.

The Games were pushed back from July to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic following weeks of uncertainty as the IOC considered the best course of action.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise globally despite some of the hardest-hit countries having had some success in reducing the rate of transmission and the number of attributable deaths.

However, Tokyo 2020 president Mori says there is no prospect of the Games being delayed further if staging them in 2021 is unfeasible.

"No. In that case, the Olympics will be scrapped," Mori told Japanese publication Nikkan Sports.

The comments came after Yoshitake Yokokura, the president of the Japan Medical Association (JMA), suggested it would be difficult for the Games to go ahead if a vaccine against COVID-19 has not become widely available.

"Unless an effective vaccine is developed I think it will be difficult to hold the Olympics next year," Yokokura told reporters.

"I'm not saying at this point that they shouldn't be held. The outbreak is not only confined to Japan. It's a worldwide issue."

The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has passed three million, with just over 13,600 of those in Japan.

Almost 212,000 people to test positive for the virus have died.

Phil Neville will leave his role as England Women's manager when his contract expires in 2021, the Football Association has confirmed.

Lionesses boss Neville had been set to lead the team into Euro 2021, with his deal up following the tournament.

However, with the coronavirus pandemic impacting the football calendar, pushing the men's Euro 2020 into next year, the women's finals have been delayed to 2022.

Neville will continue in the position until his contract ends but will then depart, leaving a new appointment to take charge as England hosts the tournament.

The 43-year-old had also been set to coach Team GB at the Tokyo Games, though, and his role in the Olympics set-up is less clear.

The 2020 Olympics have been postponed until 2021, and the FA has not yet reached an agreement with the British Olympic Association on the possibility of Neville taking charge in Japan as planned.

"In light of the impact of current global events on the sporting calendar and in the best interests of the England Women's team, both parties were in agreement that our shared priority was to ensure the Lionesses have continuity of coaching going into the home Euro and looking towards the 2023 FIFA World Cup," Sue Campbell, the FA's director of women's football, said in a statement.

"Once football returns after this difficult period, Phil will continue his work with the Lionesses on the further development of his squad. I will support him fully with that important task while moving forward with the crucial succession planning process. 

"We will now discuss next steps with the British Olympic Association and the home nations with regard to Team GB football, and we are not in a position to make any further comment at this time."

Neville added: "As a result of the changes to the proposed tournament scheduling, we will now be working to plan for a revised match calendar once it is safe and appropriate to do so.

"I am looking forward to getting back to work with the team as soon as possible. We have a fantastic squad of players and there is plenty to work on as we look to progress as a team going into 2021."

Former Manchester United defender Neville was appointed to his first senior coaching role as England manager in 2018.

The Lionesses won the SheBelieves Cup in 2019 before reaching the Women's World Cup semi-finals later in the same year, losing to eventual champions the United States.

In 1936 Jesse Owens won four gold medals at a single Olympics. That has been equalled on the track but has never been surpassed. The moment was something track & Field would never forget.

The Olympics were to be held in Berlin, Germany in 1936 and while the World was not to know this just yet, but a second World War would give the event added significance.

Owen’s achievement, on the back of what was to come in the world of men and war, was important. The achievement was special, the where, when and why of it cannot be overstated, however, I would like to focus on one of those gold medals, more specifically, the long jump.

Owens would win the 100, 200, 4x100-metre relay, and the long jump. The last of these has a fantastic story and makes for an absolutely brilliant moment in time.

The American was an unknown quantity to the World, though he did achieve World record-runs in 1935 during his final year on the collegiate circuit.

At the Olympics a year later, the sprinter made his first gold medal look easy.

He would run away with the 100-metre dash, equaling the world record and winning by a tenth of a second.

Now that he was no longer an unknown quantity at the ’36 Olympics, Owens was in for a challenge.

The story goes, the officials would not allow Owens to win a second gold medal, especially since Adolf Hitler, the charismatic German leader, was intent on showing the world that his country was, again, a force to reckon with and Luz Long, a countryman, was a serious challenger in the event.

The story goes on to suggest that Owens was deliberately called for foul jumps on his first two attempts in the final, but that Long suggest the American jump from further back, making it impossible for there to be a discrepancy.

Even with the disadvantage and only one clean jump, Owens still managed 8.06 metres, just three and a quarter inches outside of his World Record.

Long was beaten, but the moment to remember still hadn’t come yet.

That moment would come immediately after the medal ceremony for the long jump where Long and Owens would celebrate their achievements by walking arm in arm around the stadium.

The symbol was powerful and that, even more than a black man dispelling the myth that there was a superior Aryan race in existence, every man should be respected.

Even in the midst of differing opinions on politics and what have you, people could find common ground. That common ground, on this particular occasion, was sport.

For that reason, while Owens’ achievement during those Olympics was remarkable, there was another hero who should be celebrated. Long’s gestures, during the event and at the medal ceremony, should be remembered for the great sporting moment it was.

Hitler would go on to lose World War II but the first battle he lost came at those ’36 Olympics right in his backyard.

Thomas Bach has rejected claims the IOC was too slow in postponing the Tokyo Olympics and hit out at "conspiracy theories" regarding the decision.

It was confirmed last month the 2020 Games, originally scheduled to begin on July 24, would be put back by a year due to ongoing concerns over athletes' health and ability to train amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The IOC came in for criticism for having originally insisted the Games would go ahead as planned before pressure arrived from several federations, with Canada and Australia among the nations to say they would not have sent athletes if the Olympics went ahead on the planned dates this year.

IOC president Bach said the decision to postpone required unilateral support, while insisting the intention was never to cancel the Games completely.

Speaking to Welt Am Sonntag, Bach said: "In such emotional situations, as a responsible person, you cannot make decisions based on gut instinct.

"We really cannot be accused of hesitation or lack of advice and transparency.

"In order to counter conspiracy theories, it must be said clearly that the IOC was insured against a cancellation, but not insured in the case of a postponement.

"For a postponement, however, the approval of the organising committee, which must be willing to work a year longer, is required, and the Japanese government must be willing to continue to support the preparations.

"We weren't dealing with the postponement of a football match or city marathon here. We were dealing with 11,000 athletes from all over the world; 50 world championships in 33 different sports, all in the same place and within the space of 16 days as well as partners in the worlds of sport, business and politics, all of whom had to be brought on board.

"Two days later, I reached agreement with the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, that the Games should be rescheduled.

"I would ask people to remember that, at that point, there were still discussions going on about an April date for the Bundesliga and Champions League to start up again. Wimbledon was still in the calendar. Even now, the Tour de France has still not been cancelled."

Bach added he did not know what the cost of postponing the Games would be but acknowledged it would run into "several hundred million dollars".

"That is impossible to say for now. We agreed with the prime minister that Japan will continue to cover the costs it would have done under the terms of the existing agreement for 2020, and the IOC will continue to be responsible for its share of the costs," he said.

"For us, the IOC, it is already clear that we shall be faced with several hundred million dollars of additional costs."

There have been suggestions that uncertainty over the COVID-19 crisis could lead to another postponement, a scenario Bach would not be drawn on.

"The top priority, of course, remains the health of the athletes and everyone involved in the Games and the containment of the virus," Bach said.

"We will use this as a basis for all future decisions."

United States star Carli Lloyd admitted her ambition of becoming an NFL kicker may have to be parked for an extra year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The two-time Women's World Cup winner has made no secret of her NFL dream, and she caught the eye last August when drilling a series of field goals while visiting a Philadelphia Eagles practice session.

USA veteran and long-time Eagles fan Lloyd is convinced she could become the first woman to play in the NFL.

Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen last year said he would be prepared to school Lloyd in the intricacies of kicking a pigskin with the precision she shoots a soccer ball.

But an unexpected possible stumbling block surfaced when the Tokyo Olympics had to be pushed back to 2021, meaning Lloyd, 37, will focus on her established sports career for a while longer.

Asked about the NFL plans, Lloyd said: "I'm focusing on soccer at the moment, but I've always been a kid who loves a challenge and I've never backed down from any challenge.

"I know with proper training and the right technique and someone showing me how to properly kick, I know that I can do it.

"It may have to get pushed a year or so. I know the times right now are a little up in the air, so we'll see. I'm not ruling it out."

The global health crisis has had a major knock-on effect on the sporting world, and Lloyd must stay on her game deeper into her thirties than she might have envisaged, to stay in with a shot of playing another Olympics.

She already has two gold medals, from the 2008 and 2012 Games.

Speaking in a streamed Yahoo and Women's Sports Foundation event, she confirmed a determination to be a part of the US team in Japan.

Lloyd said: "For me now it's another year to be able to prepare, to be able to push the boundaries, the barriers, of becoming more fit, stronger, to better my game, and I'm excited about it."

Despite the allure of the NFL, she may have stayed in football in 2021, anyway.

"It gives me another year, because I didn't think I was going to be ready to be done after this year, so I get another year to play," she said.

"Everyone's talking about the age. It's a year later; it's not going to make much difference because I'm feeling at the top of my game and feeling really, really good right now."

Chad le Clos should have been cleaning up at Olympic trials this week but instead he's been consigned to washing the dishes after being schooled by his dad at poker.

Le Clos had been expecting a double celebration this weekend after competing in the South African National Swimming Championships in Durban.

South Africa's most decorated Olympian turns 28 on Sunday and will still celebrate with the family, but the usual post-Olympics party will have to wait until next year after the Tokyo Games were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Le Clos has been in lockdown for a fortnight following a sharp exit from his Turkish training base, where he had relocated after being forced to leave a camp in Italy amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The Durban native is optimistic he can strike gold in Japan if he plays his cards right, but revealed it is his charismatic father Bert - who became a poolside star at London 2012 after his son was crowned 200-metre butterfly champion - who has been holding all the aces during isolation.

Asked how he has been spending his time in quarantine, Le Clos told Stats Perform: "Me and my dad made a nice cooking video, and I've been hanging outdoors quite a lot. 

"We are playing a lot of poker, a crazy amount of poker. My dad is a really good player, me and my brother have been playing about five or six years. We've been playing every night to pass the time.

"We are playing for things like doing the dishes, breakfast in the morning, pancakes. I've been doing all the dishes, I've been so bad!"

Le Clos is philosophical about the Olympics being put back 12 months as he deals with the hand he has been given and revealed it is not only his schedule that will need to be altered as he sets his sights on being the ace in the pack in Tokyo.

He added: "It's crazy to think how things have changed, I should have been competing and I'm in lockdown.

"It's my birthday this weekend, so there would have been an extra celebration but it's all good.

"My family had all these Tokyo 2020 Le Clos supporter t-shirts made that they were going to come round to the party in, so we have to change that to 2021!"

Chad le Clos was in the best shape of his life before the Olympics were postponed due to the coronavirus but warned his rivals he will be even more formidable in Tokyo next year.

Le Clos should have been competing in the final day of the South African National Swimming Championships on Thursday, but instead he was in lockdown at home with his family.

South Africa's most decorated Olympian, Le Clos felt ready to strike gold in Japan until the Games were called off just four months before they were scheduled to start.

The Durban native is hungrier than ever for Olympic glory after returning from Rio four years ago with two silver medals, one of which he hopes will be changed to gold after Sun Yang - winner of the 200-metre freestyle final - was given an eight-year ban for breaching anti-doping rules.

Le Clos, crowned Olympic 200m butterfly champion at London 2012, vowed to ensure he is at the peak of his powers back on the big stage next year.

He told Stats Perform: "Obviously it was a shame that the Olympics were called off, but it was something you cannot control.

"I'm ready to go again next year, I'm in good shape. I have an extra 12 years to be even better.

"I feel like I'm getting better, I feel like I was in the best shape of my life a couple of weeks ago. I'm confident I can come back, hopefully be better than I was in London and Rio and will be in the best shape possible next year."

Le Clos, who turns 28 on Sunday, is hopeful he will also head to the Paris 2024 Olympics in search of adding to his medal haul.

He added: "I think I can get to two more [Olympics], I think I'll be very competitive in the next one for sure.

"Again in 2024, we'll see what happens, it's a long way away but I'm just happy to be in the position that I'm in.

"I'm comfortable with where I'm at, we train really well and I'm very motivated. I lost my motivation after London, but I'm back to where I was now. I'm hungrier and I really want to be successful at the Olympics, I want to win again."

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