The pandemic has cancelled and postponed a large number of events, activities, festivals, and even smaller social gatherings. One of the biggest events COVID-19 has disrupted is the Olympics. Slated to have taken place in Tokyo this summer, the organization recently announced that for obvious reasons of safety, the games will not be happening, and instead will be tentatively rescheduled to next summer, 2021, at the earliest. Despite the push to next year, the branding will maintain “Tokyo 2020” as their label. While fans and spectators around the globe are disappointed, we wanted to know what the athletes are thinking. We asked several Olympic athletes what their reactions were to the postponement, and just how the announcement affected them mentally, emotionally, and physically.
“While it’s definitely disappointing that the Olympics have been postponed, it’s for the greater good. I’m honestly relieved. We are not able to train properly and for someone like myself, who still needs to qualify, it was starting to become extremely stressful. The positives are that we all have extra time to make the Olympics even greater!”
-Divya Biswal, anticipating qualifying for Team Canada, Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Instagram: @divyabiswal
“Although it was hard to process at first, I believe the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) made the best decision to pull out of the Olympics for the safety of their athletes. I know personally, with the travel restrictions and cancellation of Olympic qualifying meets, training outside without access to a track in sub-zero degree weather would have made it a lot more difficult to stay motivated and be in optimal shape for this July. I choose to look at the postponement of the Tokyo Games as an opportunity to aim even higher and become even stronger over the next year. My dreams are just put on pause. For the time being, I choose to stay active and positive by leading workouts on Instagram, in collaboration with the non-profit organization FitSpirit, and encourage young girls and everyone impacted to stay active and have fun at home.”
-Micha Powell, Member of Canada's 2016 Olympic 4x400m relay team, highly ranked for 2020 Olympic relay, Twitter: @micha_powell
“Postponing the Tokyo Olympics has, no doubt, generated deep disappointment throughout the world of sport. The disappointment will very soon turn to a deep conviction, focus, and new fire in the athletes, and they will produce one of the most extraordinary Games the world has ever seen. #Tokyo2021”
-Rosey Edeh, Ellie contributor, 3x Olympian, Twitter: @roseyedeh