Olympians filled with mixed emotions regarding summer games in Tokyo

Published: Mar. 23, 2020 at 11:01 AM CDT
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With many sporting events across the United States and the world either being postponed or canceled, it was only a matter of time before the Olympics came into the conversation.

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan is set to take place in July but could be pushed back over concerns of the Coronavirus.

"Everyone wants to compete," said Abby Dunkin, a member of the U.S. Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team. "But everyone is concerned about the safety and health and wellbeing of everyone else."

The idea of pushing back the Olympics has been met with mixed emotions. Athletes wanting to compete so all their training doesn't go unrewarded. Also facing the dilemma of not wanting to risk their safety and health.

Athletes in training follow strict regiments leading up to the games to ensure they're peaking at the right time. The decision to postpone the Olympics could cause setbacks for many athletes.

Another area of concern is for the individuals that have not yet qualified to compete in Tokyo. When will those qualifying meets be made up if the games are delayed?

Athletes who planned on retiring after the summer Olympics would have to likely halt their postgame commitments.

"This is definitely not an easy decision for anyone," Dunkin said. "At the end of the day, the biggest thing is everyone's health and everyone is staying safe."

One talking point that has been discussed is the athletes that are considered a higher risk for serious illness from the Coronavirus. Dunkin is a member of the Paralympians, athletes with physical disabilities. Paralympians can be more at risk from the virus depending on the origin of their disability. This doesn't mean able-bodied athletes can't be high risk as well.

Dunkin, like many athletes, hopes the Olympics happen this year even if they're pushed back a few months.

"I am fully confident that the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee will make a great decision that benefits all those involved," Dunkin said.

If the 2020 games go on as scheduled, they will begin July 24 and run through August 9. The Paralympics would follow beginning August 25 and go till September 6.

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