Olympics 2020 – One Year to Go
With the 2020 Olympics being postponed, we look at how some elite athletes are staying positive and how we can help keep the Olympic flame alive with one year to go.
If you were lucky enough to be in London during the summer of 2012, you’ll probably remember experiencing the incredible, positive energy that hosting the Olympic Games brought to the city. What a fantastic summer of sport that was. Couldn’t we all use some of that positivity right now?
The 2020 Olympics were due to begin this week, but unfortunately, for reasons known to all of us, that wasn’t possible. The new dates for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad were announced on 30 March. The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will now take place from 23 July to 8 August 2021 and the Paralympic Games will be celebrated from 24 August until 5 September 2021.
Perhaps you had planned to attend Tokyo 2020 and were super excited about it. We share your disappointment. But imagine how you’d feel if you were one of more than 11,000 athletes expecting to participate in the Olympic Games.
Unfortunately for some athletes 2021 will simply be too late and they will be forced to retire, but for others it can be an opportunity to train harder, to be better and to make history by winning an Olympic medal.
These elite athletes have had to face the incredibly difficult challenge of adjusting their training regime from a 4-year programme to a 5-year programme so that they don’t reach their peak fitness too early. Staying motivated during that time needs a positive attitude.
One elite athlete who has decided to see the silver lining is Ashleigh Johnson, who was part of the gold medal-winning 2016 U.S. women's water polo Olympic team. She resumed training with her teammates a month ago and they’ve been prioritising team building and talking about mental health issues as much as training in the pool.
In a recent interview she said, "You almost never get the opportunity to reengage, re-push yourself again, push yourself harder. I felt like I was getting close to my best when we were about to shut down, but I just think this is a cool opportunity to get closer to my team, to rethink who I am as an athlete and push towards new goals and set those new goals. Even though it's challenging, even though it's physically and mentally really, really difficult, I know it's where I thrive, it's where I'm most happy.”
When the new dates for the games were announced, Team GB’s two-time taekwondo gold-medallist Jade Jones was also able to adjust to a more a positive outlook, as she recently told The Guardian.
“I’m not going to lie, it took me a few days to get my head around the fact the Olympics were not going to take place this summer.” She added, “Mentally, it’s tough. I’ve been training for four years for that one moment and, as an athlete, you try to peak for that. All the training and preparation is geared towards that … and then it’s gone. But it had got to the stage where it was hard to carry on anyway as all of our training camps and competitions were getting cancelled. At least after last week’s announcement we now know where we stand. We also have another year to become even better athletes… I’m ready for the challenge. A champion always finds a way.”
If these champions can find ways to stay positive, so can their fans and there’s no shortage of ways for us to do so. Thanks to the BBC’s ‘Olympic Rewind’ season, you can enjoy the best moments from Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.
The International Olympic Committee have also launched their #StrongerTogether campaign, which recognises "the importance of solidarity and unity during these difficult times, acknowledging the power of sport, and in particular the Olympic Games, to bring people together.”
On their digital and social media channels, the IOC and their media partners will play highlights of past Olympic Games and original programming including interviews with Olympic athletes who will discuss in more detail the challenges that they have faced during the pandemic.
Team GB are also inviting us to embrace the Olympic spirit and be more physically active with their message of solidarity - “I am Team GB. Are you?”
From 24 July to 9 August, our elite athletes bound for Tokyo in 2021 will be posting a series of fun, physical challenges on Team GB’s twitter account.
With one year to go, why not get involved? Let’s embrace these messages of solidarity and keep the Olympic flame alive.
If you are training for an event and you need some advise on training or to keep your body moving, give us a call on 0203 893 5100 or book online.
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