Retired rower Sarah Cook is adamant the Tokyo Olympics must go ahead, despite the swirling cloud of COVID-19 uncertainty and a growing state of public unrest towards the Games.
In the wake of women's quadruple scull team booking their place in Tokyo at the qualification regatta in Switzerland last weekend, Rowing Australia director Cook said all competitors needed to be rewarded with a successful Olympics.
"These athletes haven't just been training for last five years now for the games, some of them have been training 10, 15, 20 years for these Olympics," Cook said.
"In terms of the athletes with their investment in the games, but also the dedication from their entire networks, it's critical that the Olympics happen.
"There's an opportunity for the games to be a beacon of hope and positivity for the world that we are going to move through this pandemic.
"There's clearly going to be a lot of protocols in place to keep the games safe. My understanding is that the athletes are going to be completely separate and there'll be really strict measures in place."
The women's quadruple scull team will join eight other Australian rowing teams competing in Tokyo.
MORE CANBERRA SPORT
"The Australian team has come a huge way in the last five years, we've changed the system and now have two national training centres for men and women," Cook said.
"The team seems to be in really good shape, I think it's going to be one of the most successful Olympics for rowing in Australia.
"I was absolutely delighted to see the women's quad qualify.
"The women's team particularly has been going from strength to strength - I think in Tokyo, Australia will probably be the top women's team in the world."