GETTING READY FOR TOKYO 2021
The resurgence in sporting activities globally after the initial shock of the coronavirus pandemic has brought into focus the immediate events that need global attention.
The Olympic Games billed to hold this year tagged “Tokyo 2020” took a serious hit from the pandemic after the IOC and the Japanese government decided to postpone the games when it was evident that the health risk of going ahead with the event far outweighed the benefits.
The mere fact that the Olympics was postponed rather than outrightly cancelled is a relief to so many interest groups like NetBet and other bookmakers who will be looking to design and offer lots of exciting market options to punters during the games.
The athletes, national federations, corporate organizations, and sports fans are also in the mix of interested parties looking forward to a successful Tokyo 2021.
Just like many other events, there was a need to adjust the current sports calendar to actualize the hosting of the Olympics, but with global uncertainties and continued caution by health experts as regards the risks still posed by the coronavirus, it appears that the next Olympics Games will be one staged with a difference.
Even if a vaccine is developed and deployed by the end of the year as predicted by experts, the games will still come too soon thus throwing up a lot of challenges.
Conclusion of current sporting calendar
The adjustment in sporting calendar means there are some events that must be staged and concluded sequel to the Olympic Games.
This will no doubt impact the performance of some athletes who might experience fatigue or burnout sequel to the games.
The conclusion of current events that were suspended due to the pandemic also means an immediate resumption of the next calendar year which will make scheduling cumbersome for many sports federations.
Although the Governor of Tokyo city had muted hosting a “simplified Olympics”, the challenge still persist as to bringing all nations of the world together under the current strenuous conditions.
Athletes keep fit as they look forward to Olympic
Some of the athletes expected to feature in the Tokyo games generally adopted an optimistic approach to life while the global lockdown lasted to avoid rustiness. Some had invented unconventional training regimes to help them keep in shape.
Pole-vaulter, Sandi Morris who won a silver medal in the 2016 Rio games was contented with a pole-vaulting pit built by her father at a neighborhood soccer field for training after losing access to University of Arkansas training facility when it closed due to the pandemic,
for German gymnast, Clara Neumann, the transformation of her parent’s garden into a training facility with balance beam was all but necessary to keep in shape, Dutch swimmer, Sharon van Rouwendaal meanwhile devised a water treadmill where she ties a rope around her waist and onto a stationary pole,
and swims again the pulling force. There are many more athletes who are using household furniture for weightlifting as they were not able to access the gym.
While a study showed that some elite athletes put in about 10,000 hours of training before the 2012 London Olympic Games, it must be understood that the physical conditioning of the body is just a part of the preparation for competing athletes.
The psychological state of athlete will be critical after the harrowing experiences occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic. The mental strength of individual athletes will be a crucial factor in their podium placement come Tokyo 2021.
It is certain that the world can never think the same again after millions of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and over 300,000 deaths across the globe.
Michael Larry is an instructor and an educationist, who like to bring out the best in other through his inspirational writeup.