THE postponement of the 2020 Summer Games on Tuesday by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach and Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo due to the spread of covid19 has left thousands of athletes around the globe in a quandary.
After months of speculation, climaxed with Monday’s pullout by the Canadian and Australian Olympic Committees, Bach and Shinzo agreed the Games would be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but no later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Games and the international community.
Since the announcement, there have been mixed reactions coming from the sporting world. Over the past two years and leading up to the now-suspended meet, athletes have been taking part in several Olympic qualifier events and climaxing preparations ahead of the celebrated quadrennial games.
TT swimmer and Olympic hopeful, Cherelle Thompson, is one of these athletes. Having achieved an Olympic “B” standard time of 25.51 seconds, by clocking 25.39s in the Women’s 50m freestyle at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Tennessee in January, the 27-year-old was using the remaining weeks to elevate her performance and attain the required Olympic “A” standard.
Now, with the postponement of the Games, Thompson expressed disappointment via her Instagram page on Tuesday but admitted the decision was made for the greater good of the global event.
“The news of the postponement of the Olympic Games is really fresh but it’s definitely a plot twist that I would not have expected. This journey to Japan is one that I would have embarked on by faith that things would work out and that I would be successful in my endeavours because there were definitely a number of different odds stacked against me in just figuring out how I would be able to train among other things.”
“But as things have progressed with the virus, at this present time I am still able to train here in Trinidad, both in the water and in the gym. I will continue to do so as long as I am allowed to.
“The disappointment is real for myself and so many others in light of the Games being postponed. What’s also real to me is the God that I serve and the hope that I have in my heart that we will all be able to see a brighter day and in terms of the Games being put off, I can’t say what to expect. I am without words. I would imagine that’s the case for so many athletes.
“But over the years I’ve also learnt about controlling the things that I can control and adapting to things that I can’t. With that hope in my heart and that chosen perspective, as an athlete, I am encouraging the rest of TT really to trust in God in the same way and not focus on the despair that is around that’s on news but really to control the things that you can, and trust God with the things that you can’t,”
Going forward, Thompson admitted her training plans for Olympics 2021 will have to be constantly changing until more definite news emerges as to when exactly the Games will be held.
Additionally, TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis expressed his full support for the joint-decision taken by the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organising committee to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.