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Poland sends swimmers home from Olympics after picking too many


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Swimmers Alicja Tchorz, Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polanska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Holub all thought they would be representing Poland at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Well, due to an administrative error, they were sent home.

With a “desire to allow as many players and coaches as possible to take part in the Games,” Poland picked 23 swimmers to attend the Olympics. However, they were forced to cut the team to 17 athletes to comply with International Swimming Federation qualifying rules.

Tchorz – who was an Olympian at the 2012 London Games and 2016 Rio Games – and her teammates were furious over the decision.

Alicja Tchorz
Alicja Tchorz alongside members of Team Poland at the European Aquatics Championship.
Getty Images

“Imagine dedicating five years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event, giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family and your dedication results in a total flop,” she wrote on Facebook.

“I’m deeply shocked by what happened. This is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened. In fact, I hope to wake up from this nightmare eventually,” Chowaniec added.

Polish Swimming Federation president Pawel Slominski issued an apology acknowledging the swimmers’ anger.

“I express great regret, sadness and bitterness about the situation,” Slominski said in a statement. “Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the swimmers, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable to me and justified.”

Nonetheless, 22 members of the Poland national swim team signed an open letter to the Polish Swimming Federation asking for the resignation of the board.

“The actions of the Association led to an unprecedented event in the history of Polish sport,” the letter states. “In addition, Polish swimming – both in the eyes of the public and potential sponsors – has been exposed as a laughing stock. And it will have a glaring effect on all competitors who compete in the white and red colors on a daily basis. We appeal to the president and the entire board to resign immediately.”



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