For many athletes, news the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games had been postponed until 2021 was heartbreaking.
But Waimate cyclist Holly Edmondston is looking on the bright side of her enforced rest period.
Edmondston’s team pursuit squad qualified for the Olympics, although the cyclists were still waiting to find out if they had made the final cut for Toyko.
“I would have liked to think I would have got in, but you can’t say,Oamaru Mail
Sports and athletes are now awaiting confirmation of a new date, likely to be summer 2021.
“That’s annoying for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons, but obviously [Covid-19] is way, way worse,
“I can see silver linings for myself personally with it, because I’m still recovering from [surgery in] December last year.
“I don’t think I would have been my 100% self at the Olympics if I had gone. I would have tried everything but I think my body just needed more time.”
Through the power of the internet, the team can race online using Zwift, an app through which cyclists can virtually compete against each other.
“It’s just a bit of competition for everyone.”
Edmondston had been spending the lockdown with her boyfriend on his family farm in Matamata
She and other members of the New Zealand cycling team had been told to continue training as if the Olympics were going ahead.
Initially, it had been hard to find the motivation, Edmondston said.
“I couldn’t help but feel super down about things, especially at the start of isolation,” she said.
But after a few weeks of the enforced break, Edmondston realised the time off had given her a new perspective on life.
“There is always some race you have to pop off to, or a training camp.
“It’s been super nice just to get away from the environment for a bit, and do your own thing.
“It’s definitely opened my eyes to what I need to control, and what I need to do when it all resumes.”
The Olympic Games were important, but not the be-all and end-all of an athlete’s career, she said.
“People were gutted about the Olympics at the start, but we have come to the realisation it is how it is.
“Even if the Olympics aren’t to be next year and they get canned all together, we have to be sure we are enjoying the journey.
“I think taking time out is crucial for humanity . . . I’ve been saying for years and years
“This is a horrible way of it happening, but I think a lot of people are going to reset a lot of things.”
Edmondston is now focusing on her consistency.
“I had one speed on the bike, and it’s usually just going hard.
“My new motto is 90%, 100% of the time – whereas usually I would be 100%, 60% of the time.”