The aim of the present research was to analyze the effect of age (25 or Less, or 26 or more), gender (male or female), academic training (high school, professional training or university training), participation (Olympic and Paralympic), sport specialty (individual or collective) and high options to participate in the Tokyo 2021 (ranked or with serious options or without serious options) in the individual perceptions about COVID-19 crisis and psychological profile (perception of threat and stress). We found differences in various parameters between the athletes analyzed.
The present situation generated by COVID-19, supposes that people have to adapt to special care to which they are not accustomed and, even, as happened in Spain for more than three months, at the confinement, increased somatization of anxiety, resulting from the perception of lack of control in adapting to contextual demands, existing empirical evidence that emerging adults are at high risk for depression and anxiety related to the psychosocial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic .
Although the Olympic games are the most important sport event for athletes, and much of then depend on this event for their sports scholarships and sponsorships, there was a high agreement on the suspension of the Tokyo Olympics and the confinement of high-performance athletes (62.5% in favor, 14.6% against and 22.9% neutral), results that are in the same line as the study carried out during confinement by Clemente-Suarez, Fuentes-Garcia, de la Vega, & Martinez-Patiño  also with Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Probably, although the majority of athletes recognize that their best athletic performance diminish due to the COVID-19 confinement (78.2% Yes and 21.8% No), with athletes under 26 years of age more negative than group aged 26 and over athletes, on the other hand, the majority of athletes also believe that their athletic performance will recover after the pandemic (93.6% Yes and 6.4% No). In this sense, the athletes of collective sports disrupted the training routine by COVID-19 more significantly than athletes of individual sports, seeing their athletic performance more affected than in individual sports by the confinement, probably due to the added difficulty of having to meet with more companions in order to train.
The immune landscape in patients with COVID − 19 is considerably different between the sexes, and these differences may underlie heightened disease vulnerability in men (Takahashi, et al., 2020). 64.8% of the athletes were tested for COVID − 19: 44.8% with nasal swab and 20% with antibody (blood) test. 6.8% declare that they were infected by Covid-19. It should be noted that individual sports athletes underwent a significantly higher number of tests than individual sports athletes and that women presented a significantly higher number of infections than men. These results are not in line with different studies, which have shown that the incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 is higher in males than in females worldwide even though these levels may be influenced by social reasons depending on each country, culture and the specific context in which people find themselves .
During confinement, 48.7% of the athletes declared they were more tired than normal, 47.9% had difficulty sleeping, 62.9% eat more (31.7%) or less (31.3%) as usual, 4% increased their tobacco consumption, 9.8% increased their alcohol consumption and 2% took psychotropic medications for mental health. Thus these results are in line with other studies in which it has been shown that most individuals are exposed to an unprecedented stressful situation of unknown duration, being a focus of stress, anxiety, fear and depression and also disrupt sleep due to a negative appraisal of the situation and self-protection behaviors [7, 8]. For all the above, it would be important to teach athletes to manage sleep problems as best as possible during home confinement can limit stress. In relation to the above, during the confinement, the results of our study show that female athletes were significantly more tired than men, with more difficulty sleeping and more tobacco consumption. In relation to the above, the study carried out by Salfi et al.  in Italy evaluated through survey sleep quality, insomnia and depression symptoms, perceived stress, and anxiety, showing the female gender the worst condition for all the examined dimensions in both the assessments. Nevertheless, at the follow-up women reported a reduction in insomnia and depression severity symptoms, perceived stress, and anxiety. On the other hand, male participants showed a worsening of sleep quality, insomnia symptoms, and perceived stress. Consequently, the gender prevalence gap of clinical conditions such as insomnia and depression was largely reduced under lockdown, showing women seemed greater long-term resilience during the lockdown, meanwhile, the male gender emerges as the most vulnerable category to the extension of the restraining measures.
On the other hand, the group high school evaluated the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic as less serious than the athletes in the groups professional training and university training, probably due to less knowledge of the consequences of the situation. The group with university training more worried in which the group with high school in the financial situation, probably because many of the athletes in the latter group are still studying and are more concerned about their training than about work, and, conversely, the group with high school missed more than the group with university training interacting with other athletes during the confinement probably because many of them, being younger, are still giving great importance to forging social relationships.
Regarding the Olympic or Paralympic participation the Paralympic felt more capable to cope with the personal problems, also more frequently than life events are going well and less lonely during the confinement than Olympic athletes. All of the above, probably, by the very fact that disability, in general, and sport for people with disabilities, in particular, somehow prepares these people to better cope with adversity .
Something similar could happen regarding the sport specialty, the athletes in individual sports felt more capable of cope with personal problems than athletes in collective sports, where studies such as Sepulveda-Paez, Diaz-Karmelic, & Ferrer-Urbina  show that the relationship between coping strategies and precompetitive anxiety is different between individual sport (swimming) and collective sport (waterpolo), and in this sense, individual sports athletes may be more prepared to face confinement situations.
Faced with all the problems generated by the COVID − 19 previously exposed, 50.3% of the athletes report that they received guidance from the Sports Federation, with women perceiving this help to a significantly greater extent than men. In part these results could be supported by the fact that women would demand more information from their coach since, also according to our study, that female compared to male group affected more emotionally by Covid-19, more affected by an unexpected event in the last month, feeling less control over important events in the life, more nervous / anxious or stressed, less capable to cope with the personal problems, less capable to face the responsibilities, less control of all aspects of the life, more angry / upset due to events that occurred that were out of control, greater feeling that problems pile up that can not overcome them. In fact, women disrupted the training routine by COVID-19 more than men, feeling also women more stressed (pressured, tense or overwhelmed) than usual because of the confinement, more worried about reducing the athletic capability because of the confinement and more lonely during the confinement than men. These results are in the same line as those of the study carried out by Fuentes-Garcia, Martinez-Patiño, Villafaina, & Clemente-Suarez  with chess players, whose results also showed that women reported a higher level of care to avoid infection than men, and the study of Clemente-Suarez, Fuentes-Garcia, de la Vega, & Martinez-Patiño  also with Olympic and Paralympic athletes, in which that neuroticism and psychological inflexibility was greater in female compared to male group. This is consistent with a previous study  in the Spanish population where men and women significantly differed in compliance with safety measures, exercising proper care to wash hands, and in keeping at least 1.5 m distance from others in public.
On the other hand, in terms of the help received by the coach, 61.8 of athletes perceived that they received help from their coach, with this help being perceived to a greater extent by athletes 25 years of age or younger than those of 26 years of age or older. In this sense, studies such as the one by Navon-Eyal & Taubman-Ben-Ari  have shown that people tended to report difficulties in regulating emotion are younger, with more maladaptive, reckless and careless behaviors; angry, hostile and anxious. Thus, it is necessary to reinforce the mechanisms of help and advice from sports institutions to athletes in the face of the pandemic.
Correlation analysis shown how the five items (1 to 5: Impact of the pandemic on oneself, Estimation of the duration of the pandemic, Symptoms of COVID − 19, Concern about the pandemic, and Emotional affectation by the pandemic) of the Questionnaire on Perception of Threat from COVID-19 correlate with each other, in most cases strongly, except for the one that deals with the extent to which the athlete feels symptoms due to coronavirus infection (1), which correlates with the other four variables but not It does so with the one that deals with how much the impact of the pandemic affects the athlete (1). On the other hand, all the items (1 to 5) of the Questionnaire on Perception of Threat from COVID-19 (6 to 15) correlate, practically in all cases strongly, positively with five of the ten items of the Perceived Stress by Psychometric Properties of a European Spanish Version of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) (6, 7, 8, 11, 14 and 15: Affected by unexpected event, Lack of control over important events, Nervous /anxious or stressed, Incapable to face the responsibilities, Angry by events that were out of control, and Feel the problems pile up)
The rest of the items (9, 10, 12 and 13: Capable to cope with personal problems, Feel that the events are going well, Able to manage the problems, and Feel in control of all aspects) of the Questionnaire on Perception of Threat from COVID − 19 correlate negatively in most cases strongly with each other and also with the five items of the Questionnaire on Perception of Threat from COVID-19 (1 to 5). Highlight the positive correlation between the item that deals with the athlete's ability to control the problems in his life (12) and the item that deals with the athlete's feeling of controlling the difficulties of his life (13) with the item in question. to the ability of the athlete to cope with personal problems (9) and with the item that refers to the frequency with which the athlete has felt that things are going well (10) and with the item that refers to the disability of the athlete to face the responsibilities (11).
Study limitation and future research lines
One of the limitations of the study is not having controlled different physiological variables directly, by means of, for example, hormone controls. Another limitation is not having carried out a longitudinal study to observe the evolution of the athletes' perception. These two aspects, on the other hand, are difficult to carry out due to the great difficulty of accessing a large sample of elite athletes. Future research must seek it would be interesting to analyze the impact of COVID-19 crisis in different performance level athletes.
Considering the results obtained, which reflect, on the one hand, adaptive problems in athletes and, on the other hand, not the sufficient level of support from the institutes against Covid-19, it would be advisable to carry it out on the part of the competent institutions a program to give psychological support to Olympic and Paralympic athletes in which they are taught to face in a way the different psychological problems caused by COVID − 19.