Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images
This isn’t the splash the Polish Swimming Federation wanted to make at the Tokyo Olympics.
Poland sent 23 swimmers to compete in the games, but six had to return home after organizers realized that there were too many people on the team; under the qualifying rules for FINA, the international federation for water sports, only 17 swimmers are allowed to participate, USA Today reports.
The six swimmers who had to leave Tokyo are devastated, and calling on Polish Swimming Federation board members to resign. Alicja Tchorz, who competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, wrote on Facebook, “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.” On Instagram, Mateusz Chowaniec said that he was “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.”
In a statement, Polish Swimming Federation President Pawel Slominski said he felt “great regret, sadness, and bitterness about the situation,” adding that the “reaction of the swimmers, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation, is understandable to me and justified.” He said 23 swimmers were sent to Tokyo by mistake out of “a desire to allow as many players and coaches as possible to take part in the games.”