The International Swimming League will fund its professional athletes through next year’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, starting with payments in September.
The league said Friday it plans a five-week, all-expenses paid combined training and competition event this year from Oct. 14 to Nov. 17 at a location yet to be determined depending on developments involving the coronavirus pandemic.
Every athlete who has signed or will sign a contract with an ISL club will receive an equal amount of money per month, starting Sept. 1 through July 1, 2021. No financial details were provided.
“This financial grant shall assist the swimmers during these challenging times to prepare for major events in 2021 and a full ISL season in 2021-22,” the league said.
The ISL said athletes involved in the training and competition event will be allowed to bring their personal coaches.
The Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled to start July 18, have been postponed to July 23-Aug 8, 2021, due to the pandemic. The pandemic has wreaked havoc with the international sports calendar. Swimmers have had their training pools shut down in most locations, idling them at what would have been a critical preparation time leading up to the Olympics.
Bankrolled by Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Grigorishin, the ISL launched last year with four European-based teams and four U.S.-based squads that featured some of the sport’s biggest names in a series of meets in Europe and North America. The championship, won by Energy Standard, was held in Las Vegas.
The second season will add clubs in Toronto and Tokyo.