When Dierks Bentley sang “Drunk on a Plane,” he probably didn’t think that Team Australia would take him seriously. On a flight back from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, multiple Aussie athletes became so intoxicated that they caused “chaos” aboard the Japan Airlines plane. Now that the incident has reached the Australian Olympic Committee, the involved athletes may face disciplinary actions for their behavior.
It goes without saying that Olympic athletes represent their nation when competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. That representation doesn’t stop once they board their flights–or even when they arrive home for that matter. For better or for worse, fans will always recognize the Olympians as symbols of the nation’s athleticism. Naturally, each nation wants the most upstanding individuals to represent them on the world stage. That’s why the AOC is taking the recent mile-high incident so seriously.
According to 7 News Australia, the nation’s Olympic team Chef de Mission, Ian Chesterman, is investigating the situation to find out exactly which athletes initiated and participated in the chaos following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Chesterman reported that during the booze-filled activities, at least one athlete threw up in the plane’s bathroom, rendering it “inoperable” for the remainder of the flight. Many of the athletes also neglected to follow COVID-19 regulations, such as wearing a mask.
Individual Sports Will Dispense Consequences of Post-2020 Tokyo Olympics Incident
“There were nine sports involved, so I called the chief executives on Sunday morning, gave them a briefing, and asked them to investigate their other athletes and officials,” Chesterman told reporters following the post-2020 Tokyo Olympics flight.
Those nine teams equaled a total of 49 athletes on the Japan Airlines flight. Even before excessive drinking, managing such a big group of athletes is not an easy task. Likely, whether they won medals or not, the teams are giddy to go home and be free of the stress that comes with the Games. All that excitement can mean a lot of noise and a lot of energy. Add to that a few dozen mini bottles of Patrón, and it’s a bad situation.
According to the local Aussie news station, Japan Airlines decided against filing a formal complaint with the International Olympic Committee. However, they did want to bring the incident to the attention of the AOC.
Apparently, the “ringleaders” of the embarrassing situation were players on the rugby and soccer teams. As a result, Chesterman gave individual sports the right to distribute any sanctions to their athletes.
Perhaps most disturbing to Chesterman was the fact that people outside of Team Australia were also on the flight. Probably hoping for a mellow flight, the other passengers had to endure the athletes’ antics for the entire 10-hour trip.
“There were other Australians returning on that flight,” Chesterman said. “It’s not the standard the Australian Olympic Committee expects and not the standard the sports expect too.”