This month we hear from DMSF Head Coach, Vicente Modahl:
A few weeks ago I was asked to write a short update on our Olympic Journey. At the time I said there wasn’t much to report as we were mainly training hard after Aimee returned from having the flu in January.
However, a mere two weeks later and the world has turned upside down for both of us. The continued spread of the Corona virus has come into full force impacting our plans to travel to Flagstaff in Arizona for a high altitude training camp, followed by two competitions in Los Angeles.
The competitions have since been cancelled and as of today [Monday 16th March] we can no longer fly to the USA due to the imposed travel restrictions, so, for now, it would seem we are stranded in Manchester in an Olympic year.
The questions are many, but the answers are few, as no one knows what the next few weeks or months will hold for us as athlete and coach, or even for the wider population.
Competitions that we had planned to attend in Europe in May are now subject to cancellation and the Olympic Trails in Manchester, set for the 20 – 21 June, will also be reviewed. Even the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo remain uncertain with organisers currently discussing the latest coronavirus developments. They could be delayed they might even be cancelled, which would be the first time since the Summer and Winter Olympics of 1940 and 1944, when the Games were cancelled due to World Ward II.
We are living in unprecedented times not seen since the Second World War and there no doubt that this has hit our sport, and every other sport throughout the world, hard.
The healing power of sport
I’m sure there are a few people who would say, “its only sport”, but as we know sport is the healer of minds; the inspiration to excel; and the motivation to challenge. Sport is vital to our health, to our resistance to viruses, and to strengthen our resolve through a strong mind. Not to mention it’s the livelihood of many, it puts food on the table and pays bills in the same way it does for nurses, policemen, builders or teachers.
Aimee and I will continue our Olympic journey, yesterday we ran 25 kilometres (or 15 miles), and today Aimee will run 8km in the morning and take part in an important long interval session late afternoon. Our day-to-day task to get ready continues regardless, even if the target is blurred. We might train a lot more in isolation, but the day we see light at the end of the tunnel we will be ready, ready to make sure DMSF has its first Olympian and show that we have the belief, determination and courage to go the full distance through adversity.
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