Australia’s Winter Olympic medallist Matt Graham is keeping a close eye on Tokyo but remains confident the Games will go ahead in Beijing in a year’s time.
With the 2020 Summer Olympics being postponed by a year, the two Games will be held just six months apart with the Winter equivalent set down for February 4 to 20.
Australia is looking to send more than 50 athletes, with 2800 expected to compete on the biggest winter sporting stage.
While rumours continue Tokyo, due to start July 23, will be cancelled with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to rage, Graham says Australia’s winter Olympians are planning for the China Games.
“It’s still a while way and at the moment, Tokyo is the big question mark but everyone like the IOC is pushing ahead for that,” Graham, who won silver in the moguls in Pyeongchang, told AAP from Deer Valley ahead of the upcoming World Cup.
“In my mind it is going ahead and I have to treat it like that and that will motivate me to train as much as I can over the next 12 months.
“If I question it too much it can be pretty easy to get complacent and slack off, so I’m going to act as if it’s going to happen and fingers crossed it does.”
Graham felt the lack of team sports in the Winter Olympics compared to Summer meant it would be easier to manage in a COVID-19 world.
“It’s mostly individual sports so in that respect it’s a lot easier to isolate and distance all of the competitors and also in our sport everyone is doing the event one by one, you’re not racing right next to someone.
“Logistically it’s more viable but there’s still a lot of complications.”
Graham, who is currently the leading Australian and sits third in the men’s World Cup standings after three events, said the selection process for Beijing hadn’t changed.
But he said the cancellation of a number of World Cup events meant less points were up for grabs.
“The process more or less remains the same – you have to be within the top 30 ranking in the world over two seasons and it’s an accumulated ranking.
“There’s less events and less opportunities to earn points but everyone is in the same boat so everyone is disadvantaged in the same way.”
The skiers at least now have the world championships to look forward to after its third location was confirmed this week in Kazakhstan in early March after it was moved from Beijing and then Calgary, Canada.