AUSTIN (KXAN) — Although Olympic trials in March and April have been postponed, the International Olympic Committee is still “fully committed to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
In the United States, rowing, wrestling, canoe/kayak and shooting trials are among those postponed. Currently, diving, gymnastics, swimming and track and field trials are still scheduled for May and June.
One of the affected athletes is Emily Schmieg, a rower who was supposed to begin her trial Tuesday. So far there’s no date for a new trial, which means no way to qualify for the Olympics.
“It’s hard,” Schmieg said. ‘You don’t want to think that 4, 6, 8 years of work is just gone in a flash with something you can’t control, but at the same time we still have hope that there will be some resolution that allows us a chance to qualify for the Olympics.”
Athletes usually work to precisely time their training to peak during trials and at the Olympics, which is made more difficult by postponements.
“We’re all in the same boat,” Schmieg said. “Nobody can go race so we have to bring each other up to stay strong in a really trying time. Both in sport of a sports sense and a global sense.”
While she hopes the Olympics don’t get canceled, Schmieg says she hopes the IOC makes a decision that is safest for athletes, volunteers and coordinators.
Pole vaulter Sandy Morris said like many Olympic athletes, she’s stuck without places to go to train safely. She said she may be able to drive 14 or 15 hours to South Carolina to be with her parents.
“We have this crazy scheme — my dad wants to build a pole vault pit put in in their neighborhood which he has been doing for years,” Morris said. “Maybe this will be the thing that pushes him over the edge and makes that actually happen so then I’ll go train in my parents neighborhood for a month or so.”
Still, she says its hard to keep focused on training, but she’s working to tune out the distractions and make the best of it.
“It does not feel like an Olympic year, just with everything going on right now, everything is canceled and so many people are talking about ‘Oh there’s no chance that Tokyo is going to happen,'” Morris said. “And I just have to push that out of my brain and have help because we don’t know what this thing is gonna look like in a month or two.”
Other athlete reactions
WOOD-TV’s Jack Doles spoke to a number of athletes about how they’re feeling about and preparing for their events amid the coronavirus crisis. Here’s what they had to say:
“Just a lot of unknown. It seems like we’re in kind of a horror movie a little bit. Just because there’s a lot of scare and uncertainty,” said Bethany Galat, a swimmer and Texas A&M graduate.
“The Olympics, if they postponed it that would be devastating. Or if they cancelled, it would be a heartbreaker.”Tiger Johnson, Boxer
Boxer Keyshawn Davis is in Colorado Springs, and concerned about returning home to Virginia, which he says is “basically shut down.”
“In boxing, in sports, there are obstacles in that sport,” Davis said. “Whether it’s personal or open as this virus is. You just gotta overcome this obstacle, like every other obstacle.”