‘It’s bigger than our sport’: Canadian athletes on 2020 Olympic Games postponement – National


Sara Groenewegen, a pitcher for Team Canada women’s softball team, was supposed to have a very busy spring preparing for the 2020 Olympics — then the novel coronavirus outbreak hit.

The 24-year-old was with the team in Halifax for a six-week training camp, but the trip was cut short when COVID-19 landed in Canada early March.

“We heard the news about China … but we thought we just had to be careful, wash [our] hands and [avoid] public places,” Groenewegen said.

READ MORE: Sore back, neck from working from home? Quick fixes to improve your workspace

Within a few days, the team’s trip to California was cancelled and rumours were swirling that the 2020 Olympic Games were going to be cancelled, too.

Soon after, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced it wouldn’t send a team to Tokyo unless the Games were postponed.

Story continues below advertisement

For Groenewegen and her teammates, this was especially tough news to swallow because 2020 was going to be the first time softball was included in the Olympics since 2008.

Photo courtesy of Sara Groenewegen

Photo courtesy of Sara Groenewegen


Photo courtesy of Sara Groenewegen.

Groenewegen was devastated, but she understood why the decision needed to be made.

“It was obviously super difficult, but at that point, we knew it was bigger than our sport,” Groenewegen said. “It was obviously a really hard decision and one that wasn’t made lightly.”






Coronavirus outbreak: Olympics postponement is about saving lives, says IOC chief Bach


Coronavirus outbreak: Olympics postponement is about saving lives, says IOC chief Bach

It was later announced that the Games were postponed until 2021. Groenewegen was proud to be on one of the teams who took a stand.

Story continues below advertisement

“We’re super proud to be part of that movement. The leadership this country has shown in the grand scheme of the world … I think it’s awesome,” she said. “It’s just been a huge roller coaster.”

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Now, Groenewegen is trying to figure out what it means to live a life without training for the Olympics.

“I’m a huge planner, but [right now] I’m just trying to be a good citizen and staying inside,” she said.

“We’ve been told to take these weeks to be a normal citizen … what does that mean?”


Tweet This

Boady Santavy, a weightlifter for Team Canada, has been preparing for the Olympics for years. While he understands the decision to postpone the Games, he was upset to hear he wouldn’t be competing this year.

“I was overall really sad,” Santavy said. “I’m going to make good out of it, but I’m disappointed.”

On the bright side, Santavy is looking forward to having time for his body to heal.

Photo courtesy of Boady Santavy

Photo courtesy of Boady Santavy


Photo courtesy of Boady Santavy

“It’s actually a good little break to heal up a couple small things and make [my body] feel better,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

The delay may even give Santavy an advantage because he has more time to train.

“It’s actually a blessing in disguise that I can have all this extra time to train and get better,” Santavy said. “I may even have a better chance of getting a medal in general.”

READ MORE: Quarantine that stress: Limit screen time during coronavirus outbreak, experts say

Ehab El-Sandali, a track and field runner, feels similarly — he was sad to hear he wouldn’t be going to Tokyo, but he’s choosing to look at it as a blessing in disguise.

“A few months ago … I found out I had a metatarsal stress reaction on my right foot,” El-Sandali said.

“Once I found out about my injury, I completely shut down and was depressed for a good five weeks. It was one of the toughest things I had to go through in my life.”

Photo courtesy of Ehab El-Sandali

Photo courtesy of Ehab El-Sandali


Photo courtesy of Ehab El-Sandali.

By the time he had recovered from the injury, the Games had been postponed.

Story continues below advertisement






Coronavirus outbreak: Japan’s PM says 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed to 2021


Coronavirus outbreak: Japan’s PM says 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed to 2021

“At first, I was heartbroken because I was finally getting back to my old form and was excited about racing again,” El-Sandali said. “But then I realized … my chances of qualifying will be much greater now that I have an extra year to train.”

He also knows this is a necessary step to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

“This is bigger than me or any athlete out there. It’s about the safety of millions.”


Tweet This

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.






Coronavirus around the world: April 2, 2020


Coronavirus around the world: April 2, 2020

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

Story continues below advertisement

Meghan.Collie@globalnews.ca


© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.







Source link

[Prosperity]

Top Canadian News – ‘It’s bigger than our sport’: Canadian athletes on 2020 Olympic Games postponement – National #News in #Canada

Headline News

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/topstories.xml” limit=”15″]

Canadian Headline News

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada.xml” limit=”20″]

British Columbia News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-britishcolumbia.xml” limit=”10″]

Kamloops News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-kamloops.xml” limit=”10″]

Calgary News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-calgary.xml” limit=”10″]

Edmonton News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-edmonton.xml” limit=”10″]

Saskatchewan News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-saskatchewan.xml” limit=”10″]

Saskatoon News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-saskatchewan.xml” limit=”10″]

Manitoba News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-manitoba.xml” limit=”10″]

Thunder Bay News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-thunderbay.xml” limit=”10″]

Sudbury News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-sudbury.xml” limit=”10″]

Windsor News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-windsor.xml” limit=”10″]

Kitchener-Waterloo News headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-kitchenerwaterloo.xml” limit=”10″]

Toronto News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-toronto.xml” limit=”10″]

Hamilton News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-hamiltonnews.xml” limit=”10″]

Ottawa News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-ottawa.xml” limit=”10″]

Montreal News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-montreal.xml” limit=”10″]

New Brunswick News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-newbrunswick.xml” limit=”10″]

Prince Edward Island News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-pei.xml” limit=”10″]

Nova Scotia News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-novascotia.xml” limit=”10″]

Newfoundland & Labrador News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-newfoundland.xml” limit=”10″]

North Canada News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada-north.xml” limit=”10″]

You May Also Like