No Fans at 2021 Olympics an Adjustment, But Not an Excuse – SportsTravel

The silence may be deafening if you’re an athlete competing within the Olympic Summer time Video games in Tokyo, having waited a lifetime to have the ability to carry out in entrance of household and mates roaring you on.

However some Olympians say that the absence of followers might not be that disconcerting — if solely as a result of no person is there when athletes sometimes put in essentially the most work, in apply and within the gymnasium.

“It’s not as thrilling for them,” with out followers on the Video games, mentioned 1992 Olympic multi-medalist Summer time Sanders throughout Friday’s Cosm Experience Center immersive viewing celebration in Salt Lake Metropolis. “However they’re used to it as a result of these swimmers have been coping with that for many of the pandemic. That they had followers on the Olympic Trials, however that was it. Most of their races they’ve been capable of hear their coaches yell, coaches whistle, see teammates cheering for them — which is a crew bonding second and crew constructing second as a result of there aren’t any followers. These athletes are resilient and are joyful to have an opportunity to compete.”

Brandi Chastain, a part of two gold medal-winning girls’s soccer groups in 1996 in Atlanta and 2000 in Sydney, mentioned that enjoying the ladies’s soccer match this yr with out followers brings recollections of enjoying collegiate soccer in entrance of few (if any) followers.

“It’s a reminder of the place you got here from,” she mentioned. “You performed in entrance of nobody rising up. You probably did all of your exhausting work in entrance of nobody. You will have some expertise in that. You didn’t begin enjoying this sport since you had followers coming to the stadium, you play this sport since you adore it. When it comes to what it’s truly like when it’s that quiet, we’re continuously looking for methods to dam the noise out. Now you don’t have to fret about it, you understand what I’m saying? … Now the exhausting half is the way you get your head from not getting in your head. I feel that’s the toughest half. It’s the psychological aspect of it.”

Medal Reminiscences

For a number of the athletes at Friday’s occasion, speaking in regards to the Olympic medals received revealed that gold was not all the time the very first thing that involves thoughts.

“My first medal was a bronze,” mentioned diver David Boudia, who received it in 10-meter synchronized diving on the 2012 London Video games earlier than including a gold in 10-meter platform diving in London and successful two extra medals in 2016 in Rio. “These have particular which means to my journey, personally.”

Sanders recalled that she was anticipated to win 5 gold medals in 1992 in Barcelona however “I used to be simply joyful to be Olympic teammates with Michael Jordan.” On the primary night time of competitors, she received a bronze within the 400-meter particular person medley “and I used to be thrilled, acquired out of the water and the interviewer requested if I used to be upset.” However as soon as returning to the Olympic Village, all of Sanders’ teammates wished to carry the bronze — the primary of the Video games received by a U.S. swimmer — “they usually didn’t have a look at the colour of it,” she mentioned.

Gold does have its privileges, although. When Sanders received gold within the 200-meter butterfly, NBC requested her to come back to the studios for an interview with Bob Costas. Sanders mentioned she would do it — if she acquired 4 tickets to the lads’s basketball gold medal sport so she might see the Dream Group in motion. With tickets in hand, she was capable of carry mates together with her to the occasion. | No Followers at 2021 Olympics an Adjustment, However Not an Excuse – SportsTravel


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