Top U.S. Olympic cyclists support decision to delay Tokyo
In light of a global coronavirus crisis, IOC and Japanese officials confirmed Tuesday the Games will be scheduled for 2021. No date has been set, but officials said it would be no later than next summer.
“The postponement of the Olympic Games is the best option due the current circumstances and I fully support the decision made today,” said Chloe Dygert, who is planning race on the road and on the track in Olympic competition.
“Personally, I am happy that the IOC and [Tokyo] made this decision sooner rather than later because it allows me to adjust my schedule and refocus on the goals I’ve set for myself,” said Dygert, a silver medalist in Rio de Janeiro. “I’m excited to get back to racing, looking forward to Tokyo 2021, and wishing everyone a safe 2020.”‘
While the delay will alter training plans and derail months of preparation, top American cyclists applauded the decision to reschedule the Summer Games that were scheduled to start July 24.
“It’s a really strange feeling and it’s all still sinking in as they’ve just announced the decision this morning, but I believe it’s the right call to try and keep the world healthy and safe right now,” said Trek-Segafredo’s Ruth Winder. “I think the IOC and everyone involved is making the right decision because it really wouldn’t be smart to have the Olympic Games this year.”
During the past week major sporting federations, including U.S. Track and Field and USA Swimming, demanded the IOC delay the 2020 Games. Tuesday’s decision seemed inevitable in face of lockdowns across many part of the globe, but it was still a shock for athletes who were building their fitness and preparation for this summer.
“Our time will come,” 2018 world cross-country world champion Kate Courtney wrote on Instagram. “These dreams are not canceled, they are just on hold for a moment. Hope and heartbreak can live side by side.”
Officials from USA Cycling sent a letter to its affected athletes once the news broke Tuesday, and said it will clarify any changes to selection and qualification caused by the postponement.
“This is an unprecedented time in not only sport but global history,” a press release stated. “The health and safety of our athletes is the number one priority. We know our athletes have invested significant energy towards preparing for Tokyo 2020 and realize the additional commitment it will take for them to extend that effort and refocus on a postponed Olympics.”