The British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (BVIOC) will be supporting its professional athletes with any impact that the rescheduling of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan will have on their psyche and preparations.
“This is not the first time that our athletes have had to face adverse situations and we will be doing our utmost to support them and to ease the strain of preparing for the future,” stated President of the BVIOC Ephraim Penn in a media release.
The Olympic Games was officially postponed because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and will now run from July 23 to August 8, 2021. This is exactly one year from the original 2020 dates.
Right decision made despite a few disappointments
Three of the BVI’s top professional athletes who are all expected to compete during the Games expressed their disappointment as a result of the postponement but said it was the right decision considering the global pandemic.
“While initially I was disappointed with the IOC’s decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Games, on reflection, I’m thankful that they are putting our health first,” 2019 Pan American Games long jump gold medalist, Chantel Malone said.
She added: “With everything going on, the restrictions definitely put a limitation on training with regards to what we can and can’t do so, all in all, postponing these summer Olympics is for the greater good and will give us more time to be even more prepared to produce awesome results.”
Hopes that sponsorships continue
Sharing similar sentiments is 400-meter hurdler Kyron McMaster, who is hoping for the continued support during the period.
“It’s disappointing after all this time training and competing in what few meets we had in the lead-up to the Games in July but we will overcome this hurdle and look to the future as we continue with our preparations,” McMaster said.
“We just hope that our sponsors, the VI government and our supporters continue to stand by our side during this extended period,” added McMaster — a Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles gold medalist.
‘More time to prepare’, says local strongman
Meanwhile, local strongman Eldred Henry who will be competing at his second Olympics following Rio 2016, said he will be using the additional time to ensure he is fully prepared in 2021.
“It’s unfortunate that these 2020 Summer Olympic Games have been postponed because we have been training so hard in preparation but we understand the decision to put our health and safety first and we’ll be making the most of the extra time available to get ready for this important competition,” the shot put athlete said.
According to the aforementioned media release, the BVIOC provides a monthly training scholarship and has also secured sponsorship from iForex to assist BVI’s Tokyo 2020 athletes in their preparations for the Games.
The Paralympic Games, originally due to start on August 25, 2020, will now take place between August 24 and September, 5, 2021.
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