New Olympic dates excite our athletes

The International Olympic Committee has set the new summer Olympic dates for July 23, 2021 and athletes agree, although hard, this is the best way to deliver a fair games.

Bernadette Wallace canoeing at the Australian national regatta. Photo: JGRimages2020

Australian Canoe sprint Olympian Bernadette Wallace says she is happy the Olympics were postponed and not cancelled.

“Totally respecting my competitors and that it might not be the best for them but for me personally it’s actually quite a blessing that I have another year to be able to refine my skills,” Miss Wallace says.

“It’s given the athletes and the organisers some breathing room to actually go back to the basics and take care of their families and take care of the ones that they love and taking care of their countries.

“At the Olympic Games we are representing our countries but right now a lot of them are broken and a lot of them are hurting so I think we needed to get the focus off the Olympics and back onto being humans first and athletes second.”

Olympic synchronised swimmer Aime Thompson says her team is trying to do whatever it can to continue training, with their normal training hours almost halved and now on land.

“The pools are closed,” Miss Aime says.

“I’m going to the beach and swimming every day, just doing a little bit of light swimming to keep the feeling of the water.

“We have just started online training so we meet and we all have our video on and the coach takes us through a bit of training so it’s about one and a half to two hours every day now.”

Chief Executive of the Western Australian Institute of Sport Steven Lawrence says they are doing their best to support the athletes but the planning for the Olympics will come later.

“We are making the assumption that we won’t be able to go back to our full operations inside of three or four months so during that we’ve got to build plans and systems to be able to manage our operations for the next three to four months before we start planning for the 2020 Olympics held in 2021,” Mr Lawrence says.

“Effectively we are turning all of our resources we have into building individual programs for each of our athletes and each of our coaches.”

Mr Lawrence says postponing the Olympics is the best for every athlete to have an equal opportunity and be at their peak when competing.

“You want the Olympics to be held when the athletes can show their best ever performance and secondly you want those athletes to feel like they are on a level playing field,” Mr Lawrence says.

Categories: COVID-19, General, Health, Sport

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