On 23 March 2020, many of the world’s Olympic organisations, including the Australian Olympic Committee, conceded that, due to the global Covid-19 crisis, they could not practically and safely send their athletes to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. At the time of writing, it’s anticipated the Games will now be held in the northern Summer 2021.
Athletes operate in a structured world. A framework that is very much predetermined. None more so than Olympic athletes whose lives operate in four-year cycles. A system that is steeped in history. The four-year Olympic cycle, or “quad”, as it is often called.
Our current cohort of Olympic athletes are now facing the first ever Olympic “quint” - a five-year cycle that has been imposed on them by the spread of Covid-19 throughout the world. It is a seismic shift in everything for them; mentality, routine and carefully laid plans. Goals, however, can remain the same. They have been pushed further along, but for many they are still in sight. Although the dream may unfortunately be over for some, it remains alive for most.
Once the disappointment of a postponed Tokyo subsides, athletes, coaches and sporting bodies will regroup and refocus. What awaits them next year could possibly be the greatest sporting event in the past 100 years. Once the virus clears the planet, and we are all coming together again to participate in life as we know it, the Tokyo Olympic Games 2021 will be a huge celebration of sport, performance, humanity and togetherness, like we have never seen before. This is the very reason why the Olympics were invented.
Hang tough, Olympic athletes, an epic global event awaits your participation and we will all be watching.
With new shutdowns being announced daily, including gyms and indoor sporting venues, we’re having to find new ways to connect and train.
Try to use the time you have on lockdown to communicate online with those who matter, look after your mental health, and think about and work on your life outside of sport. These fact sheets are a good place to start.
You can do things now that will help your future, both in and out of sport. Those things you were too busy to do because of your sport, can now be done. You can activate your post Olympic goals right now and still compete in the Tokyo Olympic Games. You don’t have to wait until after 2021.
This article was originally posted on Crossing the Line.