This is a powerful headline we received from the Canadian Olympic Committee last night.
Throughout today more news has come through:
1) Athletics Canada has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Track and Field Trials. This is the follow-up information we received at 12:30pm this afternoon by e-mail
2) IOC member Dick Pound released information the Olympic Games are likely to be post-poned. (Future Date: TBD). This is follow-up information received at 2:30pm this afternoon by CBC, Flo Track, and Social Media.
Today’s post takes a look at my less than 24 hour roller coaster ride of emotions in processing how these decisions affect me as a Canadian Athlete:
Continue reading for my full reflection:
Some of my initial emotions reacting to an uncertain future included:
(1) Disappointment: (of the EGO) This was year #5 of working towards my goal representing Canada at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it feels disappointing to consider the opportunity may cease to exist.
Reality: This is a gut-check. Clearly I care about reaching my Olympic goals, especially going through the mental drill of having this 2020 opportunity taken away rather than post-poned.
Reflection: As much as I care about my opportunity as an identified athlete to this Olympic team, I know I care more about the well-being of my friends, family, and human-being’s in general. Although the decision is direct, I agree with it, and am proud to be part of a sport body that prioritizes Global Human Health over the Olympic Games.
(2) Fear: (FOMO) What if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) disregards Team Canada’s Choices and 2020 Tokyo Olympics happen without the Maple Leaf?
Reality: This is a risk COC has taken on behalf of all Team Canada athletes and there are 3 scenarios that result from yesterday’s decision:
1) 2020 Tokyo Olympics proceed – without Canada
2) 2020 Tokyo Olympics cancelled
3) 2020 Tokyo Olympics post-poned.
Reflection: These are not decisions I have control over. Seeing my options listed as such, I am hopeful for a Tokyo 2021 Olympics, but understand patience and flexibility will be required should this outcome come into effect.
(3) Guilt: The “What-if scenario”: If I was an athlete who participated in 2020 Olympics as is, I am certain I would feel guilty competing knowing I would likely be contributing to the second wave of this pandemic while putting my own, and others’ health at risk to testing positive with COVID-19.
Reflection: Even though the idea of giving up the 2020 Olympic dream feels like a bummer, I am extremely well off. I am healthy, at home, and fully supported by my family. As more information and decisions are provided, I am grateful to escape “what-if- scenario’s” and finally begin moving forwards with solid decisions. As the day continues, I also feel more deep emotions of:
(4) Relief: I can finally relieve the pressure to properly balance prioritizing my Tokyo Olympic Goals and the my Global Goals of:
1) COVID-19 Relief and
2) Restoration of Global health
Reflection: Like most people, there are numerous people in my core support circle of family and friends who have been heavily affected by the actions taken in response to COVID-19. None of which have been easy for anyone to digest.
On a personal note, Both my Mom, cousin, and many friends work in the hospital. They already know COVID-19 is now here in the province of SK, know they will be coming into contact with it, know the risks of this virus, and have been informed (in hindsight) they will likely run out of PPE (personal protective equipment), ventilators, and potentially space for patients while caregiving. Yet they show up, putting themselves at risk, to deliver the care all humans are worthy of receiving. These people mean so much to me, the thought of more time to support while they navigate this as frontline workers brings me immense relief.
(5) Hope + Motivation For Tokyo 2021,
As I was writing this reflection, the IOC released information early that the Tokyo 2020 games may be postponed. This means athletes will not be in Tokyo this Summer. Instead we will be with our families and building our community stronger in lieu of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic. Once we achieve our Global Goal of Good Health, then you will see us back in our appropriate competitions. This is an idea I believe in.
Reflection: When my surroundings feel murky, I constantly check-in with WHY I do what I do. Like every other day, I’m sticking to my Why:
The daily opportunity to be and achieve Greatness- both as a person and an athlete.
Ultimately, my Why is pro-actively making the choice live my life as a journey in the pursuit to be, and facilitate greatness.
Thanks to all who read through my emotional roller-coaster. Information is empowering, and I am motivated to begin seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
The modified Olympic Dream is tentatively Tokyo 2021. Like you, many plans have and will continue to adjust, but I am ready to lean in and embrace the chaos.
Step #1: We’re all in this together, let’s Flatten the Curve:
– Wash your hands
– Embrace physical and social distancing are a must
– Be Kind
Step #2: Shift gears into tackling Global Health to then plan for a magical Tokyo 2021:
– The Journey Continues!