One year later but goal remains same says Thorpe

Following the confirmation on Tuesday of revised dates for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021, swimming champion Ian Thorpe has put the call out to athletes to reset and use the extra time to their advantage.

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will now be celebrated from 23 July to 8 August 2021 while the Paralympic Games will be held from 24 August to 5 September 2021.

Australia’s most successful Olympian delivered a personal message to all Aussie athletes on AIS social media channels acknowledging that while the current circumstances due to COVID-19 are unsettling, they also provide a unique opportunity.

“I know that no preparation is ever perfect and this is just another one of those challenges that we face as athletes as we go into an Olympic Games,” said Thorpe.

“We’ve been given another year to be able to prepare. Although it is not ideal, I hope that you take all of the measures that you can to make this Olympics as successful for yourself as possible.”

“Maintaining a routine is an important thing. Although you may not be able to do regular training as you have normally, being able to do something is better than doing nothing.

“Being able to prepare yourself in other ways, what else can you do, what can you learn about nutrition, what can you learn about the other facets that make you a better athlete.

“Remember what the longer term goal is here and what you are doing to work towards it.”

AIS Director of Wellbeing and Engagement Matti Clements says it is understandable for many individuals to be facing challenges navigating through these unprecedented circumstances but support is available to those who need it.

“We are aware that these sudden and unprecedented changes have left many high-performance athletes, coaches and support staff in difficult circumstances.” said Clements.

“What we are finding is that our high performance sporting community are responding to two major life events, the daily impacts of COVID-19 on everyday life as well as the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and with this brings a complex array of emotions.

“The AIS has support resources available including the Mental Health Referral Network, which has expanded to include all categorized athletes, coaches, support staff as well as impacted family and friends networks”

“Do not feel like you are alone during these difficult times. We are all in this together”.

For mental health and wellbeing, talk to your Wellbeing Manager, connect with the AIS Wellbeing team or contact the Mental Health Referral Network on +61 2 6214 1130 (Monday – Friday 9am-5pm AET)

For regular advice and updates regarding COVID-19 and how it may affect your sport, check the AIS website – ais.gov.au/health-wellbeing/covid-19

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