The pandemic was a slow creep for months, then it felt like it all hit at once. The government position went from “wash your hands regularly and stay home if you feel sick” to “we’re banning all planes from Europe” seemingly overnight, and every day brought new changes: no more weightlifting competitions, no more international travel, no more going to the office.
The Summer Olympics is the most recent domino to fall: despite months of insisting the event would go ahead as planned, the Games were officially postponed until 2021 this week after countries started withdrawing their athletes from Tokyo themselves.
Team USA weightlifters Katherine Nye and Mattie Rogers are hugely successful in their sport and have considerable followings on social media. They both took to Instagram to post their thoughts on the fact that the Olympics have been moved to 2021 (at the latest). We’ve pasted their comments below, with the emphasis from us, not them.
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“I don’t think there’s any way to address this without pissing people off but I’m going to try my best to share my honest thoughts. Before I go into this, per comments on my last post, I prioritize the health and well-being of every single person on this planet. No one person is more important or worthy of life than the next. Of course, during this trying time, our collective goal should be to protect the vulnerable, lift up essential workers, and do our part by staying home. That is what I’m doing and these things are first and foremost over any other feelings I have.
“The Olympics have been postponed officially and will be held sometime next year. Like any human being with emotions, of course I am devastated. This event is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I have trained tirelessly for for the past 4 years. I put work, school, and other life goals on hold for this one event. I have put off surgery (minor, don’t worry) so that I could train without interruption through this summer. I know I’m not alone in disappointment about postponed and cancelled events. It’s normal and we shouldn’t be shamed for feeling bummed — if you are one of those people that are going to tell me I’m selfish for being upset, I will block you. That is NOT healthy and my therapist encouraged me to NOT suppress those feelings, so I expect my kind, loyal followers to do the same.
“Honestly, in the end we saw this coming. I respect and agree with the decision whole heartedly, and know that we have bigger battles to fight this year. I will continue to train for the Olympics, whenever they may be held, and stay in compliance with any CDC, WHO, and governmental guidelines to slow the spread of Coronavirus. My thoughts and prayers are with those who are fighting this virus, those on the front lines, and the vulnerable that need the be protected. We must come together and lift these people up. With that being said, what’s one more year? See you in 2021, Tokyo.”
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“Yes, I’ve seen the Olympics will most likely be postponed now. (Pls, tagging me in everything about it is really not helpful. I’m well aware of what’s happening)
“I’ve been criticized endlessly the last couple days for being upset about this. Been told “it’s just the Olympics”, “stop being selfish”, “get over it”, “pathetic”, the list goes on and on. But it’s not “just” the Olympics. It’s something I’ve dedicated every second of my existence to for the last 7 years, all for one day of competition.
“It’s almost impossible to understand if you’ve never been through all the qualifications and in an olympic position and that’s okay. And I think the biggest misunderstanding is that that’s my concern INSTEAD OF the pandemic. No, it’s in ADDITION to. That’s why the emotions are especially difficult to handle. Shit, I couldn’t even visit my mom on her birthday this weekend because she’s immunocompromised and highly at risk.
“I understand the extent of all this. We’re all in the same boat here. I’ll be honest, I struggled immensely today. It’s not the same situation, but it brought back all the same feelings of coming inches away from making the 2016 Olympic team and it being taken at the last second. Being in the top 3 of 3, but not selected. Putting what I needed on the bar, but missing the lift. I never wanted to experience those feelings again, but here we are.
“Please be kind to one another. Your opinions and feelings are not more important than anyone else’s. We are all going through tough times. We are all struggling. Don’t go out of your way to be an ass. And stay the f*ck away from other people so we can get this thing over with. That is all.”
-109kg lifter Wes Kitts made a brief post as well that said,
I feel very fortunate that they have decided only postpone the Games instead of cancelling them all together. This is the first time in history that the Olympics have been postponed and I’m sure many other athletes are happy as well to not see 4 years of hard work go to waste.
Other Olympic hopefuls CJ Cummings, Jenny Arthur, and Sarah Robles are yet to say much on the subject. We know this is a devastating time for all Olympic and potential Olympic athletes and we wish them the best during this tough time.
Featured image via @katherineenye and @mattiecakesssss / @roguefitness on Instagram