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135 days to the Olympics: a peculiar and unique qualification

13 Mar 2020 16:25

 Diana Suess    Mongolian JudoHeroes

Athletes who usually train every day and always have the next tournament in sight are lost in the uncertainty of the situation. The tournament carousel has stopped spinning. Now what?

The Olympic Games ‘the tournament of all tournaments’, the dream of all athletes is only a few months away. Some judoka drag injuries around for months just for this one special moment and now there is another problem on top of the usual pressure. The corona virus makes the world stand still, like a pandemic bush fire that affects all countries. Many questions come up and few answers, it is an unprecedented situation to which even the most experienced coach or official does not know how to react.

Every Judoka is in an individual situation - some are still fighting for qualification, others for nomination, qualified ones fear that the fruits of their hard work may not be reaped, for some it is the last hurrah of their career. In brief; this is not only a difficult situation but also a highly emotional one.

Some nations are in quarantine and train only in their own homes, while others have no training partners from outside. Optimal training conditions look different. Athletes now have to endure this uncertainty and pressure and demonstrate absolute will and mental strength. Not an easy thing to do when the goal becomes more and more blurred before your eyes.

"A time of crisis is not just a time of anxiety and worry. It gives a chance, an opportunity, to choose well or to choose badly.” - Desmond Tutu

Normally such quotations are just empty heroic words, but now the decision between quarantine and proper training seems to be up for debate. Which is the right decision, we will probably not know for several months.

And until then we only have the knowledge that every fire will go out once, the only question is when. We understand your emotions but a judoka knows when to wait and when to strike. Patience is our strength.

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