ZHANGJIAKOU (Aftenposten): Tore Øvrebø reacts strongly to the fact that the Norwegian Olympic athletes’ health information goes astray.
Top sports manager Tore Øvrebø came with his harshest criticism so far of the Olympic organizer on Thursday.
Unsolicited, Øvrebø attacked communication when it comes to covid cases. Health information is constantly going astray, according to Øvrebø.
– It’s all Texas. We have experienced that very peripheral members of the organization receive health information by e-mail. We have experienced that journalists receive text messages before we receive information. We are quite critical of that, says Øvrebø at a press conference.
Four close contacts
For the record: Øvrebø is the Norwegian squad’s top leader in the Olympics. The same Norwegian squad that is now affected by covid concern.
When asked if Norwegian athletes have tested positive, Øvrebø did not give a clear answer. He wanted all the info on the table first.
However, four Norwegian athletes, including the gold favorites Johannes Thingnes Bø and Jarl Magnus Riiber, have been defined as close contacts within a few hours.
Pending corona tests, athletes can live almost as normal in the Olympic area. But they must, for example, take their own transport to and from the arena – and they must eat in their room. In addition, they are tested twice every day.
But the situation is clear anyway – and the flow of information from the organizer does not help, according to Øvrebø.
– We will get the information a little later. We do not get the full and complete overview that we feel we must have before we initiate measures. We can not launch a lot of measures and create unrest on a rumor. Then we would not be professionals, Øvrebø explains.
The hotel director was notified before
Øvrebø was clearly stated. Next to him sat press chief Halvor Lea, chuckling.
“They may not have heard of the GDPR in China,” muttered Øvrebø.
He reacts strongly to the procedure for covid messages in the Olympic city. Among other things, the director of the hotel Norway’s squad lives at has received important health information before the Norwegian delegation.
According to Øvrebø, covid communication has been the subject of great frustration at the daily international team leader meetings here at the Olympics. But Øvrebø says that the Olympic organizer has not yet said that they will change their approach.
– We expect them to change their behavior in the processing of health information. We are not happy until they do. At the same time, we must live in the situation we are in, we must ensure that the athletes get the best possible conditions to perform, says Øvrebø.