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Olympic hopefuls concerned about impact of coronavirus on summer games

Posted at 11:16 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 21:50:21-05

(WXYZ) — There are growing concerns the coronavirus could impact the 2020 Summer Tokyo Olympics.

"It's like the Super Bowl," said Olympic hopeful Mason Ferlic. "It's probably the one time that people actually pay attention to athletes in track and field."

Ferlic is a University of Michigan alum and combined track and field athlete. He's training around the clock for a chance at winning the gold. However, his chances could be threatened due to the virus.

"The Olympic committee will make the right choice, but it would be tragic for many reasons," Ferlic said. "Personally, I would go no matter what. I will run in a face mask."

Former International Olympic Committee Vice President Dick Pound said the 2020 Games could be canceled if the virus isn't contained.

Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto called a news conference to respond.

“Our basic thoughts are that we will go ahead with the Olympic and Paralympic Games as scheduled," Muto said. "For the time being, the situation of the coronavirus infection is, admittedly, difficult to predict, but we will take measures such that we’ll have a safe Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Erin Finn is a medical graduate and Olympic hopeful at University of Michigan.

"It's funny. I'm hearing these conversations in both sides of my life both the medical and track and field," Finn said.

She runs the 10,000-meter race and has been training around the clock to win a spot at USA trials in June.

"All the athletes would agree that it's about keeping people healthy," Finn said. "If the smartest thing to do is postpone the games that's what should be done."

China athletes pulled out of the gymnastics World Cup this week in Australia.