School has been moved to the bedroom, shopping to online, and sports and activities to the backyard. Since the shelter-in-place orders have been in place, Ursuline students are forced to manage the difficult practices of soccer drills, track sprints, and lacrosse workouts from their own homes.
However, imagine being a professional athlete preparing not for the annual season but the world Olympic games. Many Olympic athletes have had to greatly modify their training to fully prepare for the postponed games in 2021.
Female Olympic athletes have been through a whirlwind of struggles over the past couple months. The trouble began when the games were postponed until the summer of 2021, a delay at the expense of their years of hard work.
Despite this setback, many athletes encouraged and supported the postponement for the health of the worldwide community. Weightlifter Kate Nye, 21, told style website Refinery29, “I thought it was the best thing for the sake of public health, and I don’t think it would be a safe situation if it would have gone on as planned.”
The extra time gives these athletes another year of training, though with a slight twist: None of the Olympic training facilities are open, so many of the athletes have had to be creative with their exercise routines.
Because the pools are closed, “Dutch swimmer Sharon v Rouwendaal fashioned herself an Olympic pool by attaching a tether to one side of the inflatable pool in her back yard, allowing her to still practice swimming lengths,” reported Men’s Health magazine.
Likewise using her home resources, American rock climber Brook Rabatou, 19, told Refinery29 that she makes up for the lack of climbing gyms by scaling the walls of her basement.
April Ross, American beach volleyball player, took to the backyard and fashioned herself a one-player game of volleyball by propping a flat wooden board against a tree behind a net.
Although these athletes have entered new territory training-wise, many have taken advantage of the new opportunities. Athletes like American javelin thrower Kara Winger have broadcasted their workouts to the public over social media, inspiring athletes at home to continue training or offering new hobbies for those looking for an activity other than television.
Men’s Health reported on Winger’s beginner javelin-throwing tutorial. In Winger’s video, she explained that all you really need to learn is a broom and some outside space.
Overall, the athletes have collectively shown great motivation and understanding during this time. Sakura Kokumai, 27, was training to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics for karate, but she is taking the postponement as a great opportunity for improvement.
Kokumia told Refinery29, “When I think about it, it is a year postponed, but a year to get faster and stronger in my particular sport and discipline. Considering my age, I think my performance next year will be better. In that sense, I’m really excited.”
These Olympic athletes are role models in everyday life, but especially during this unprecedented time. Stuck at home like everyone else, they are great examples of health, endurance and perseverance as they find new ways to train and continue with their passions.
Image: (From left to right) climber Brooke Rabatou, 19, weightlifter Kate Nye, 21, Weightlifting), karateka Sakura Kokumai, 27 Courtesy of Refinery29