Samoan Olympian "devastated" by postponement
Samoan discus star, Alex Rose, is doing his best to stay positive after the news that COVID-19 forced the postponement of the 2020 Olympics broke last week.
The 28-year-old took a leave of absence from work late last year to train for and compete at the Tokyo Games in July, and said their postponement to 2021 is "a tough pill to swallow."
“I was devastated when I found out," Rose said from his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.
"Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s something that had to happen for the health of the world and for humanity. However it’s just very saddening to know that all the hard work you’ve been putting forward for the past four to eight years is just kind of having to wait.
“Regardless I’m still going to be training as hard as I possibly can so that I can try get a medal in Tokyo."
The state of Michigan is one week into three weeks of lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, with everyone except essential workers unable to leave home except to pick up food or medication.
“I have a feeling they might prolong the lockdown a bit longer unless the numbers start improving," the discus thrower said.
“I’ve been a little bit claustrophobic the past week.
“A lot of Netflix, a lot of YouTube videos and a lot of video calls to friends and family."
He's doing his best to get a lot of training in too, having set up a squat rack in his driveway, and laying a concrete pad with a net in the backyard which should be ready to throw on in a couple of days.
“I kind of prepared very quickly for the lockdown the day prior," Rose said.
“I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments with my training; certain exercises where I would need a machine and a weight room."
He's already fairly accustomed to throwing into a net though given Michigan's harsh winters make indoor trainings a must for around a third of the year:
“The bad part is you don’t necessarily know if you’re throwing any further, however it is easier to make technical changes because you’re focussed so much on your footwork and making sure all the angles are correct."
Without any dates set for the 2020 Olympics as yet, Rose isn't sure whether he should consider returning to work or keep up the full-time training regimen.
Understandably, the whole situation in addition to the public health circumstances is having an impact on his state of mind as well:
“I feel like a lot of what separates Olympic athletes from everyone else is they have a lot of internal strength to keep pushing through and being positive, and these are trying times even for someone with that type of personality.
“I’m so used to being positive and motivated, and it’s been very difficult for me personally lately.
“I really just try to keep in contact with loved ones, and they always seem to get me out of a funk when I start feeling a bit sad."
Rose sends his best wishes to all those back in his homeland as well:
“Samoa is in my thoughts and prayers, I’m happy to hear that so far no one’s tested positive [for COVID-19]."