US athletes adjust to new norm amid virus concerns

Japan 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There’s a new normal for U.S. athletes as they prepare for the postponed Tokyo games.

Wednesday morning on social media, gymnast Sam Mikulak posted a letter to athletes, saying the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs had been closed.

“I just wanted to take a stance of saying things need to get postponed. Because nothings fair,” Mikulak said.​

Now the reigning U.S. champion is scrambling to find a place to train. ​

So is the reigning world champ in the 800 meters, Donavan Brazier.

“They shut down all of the Nike campus, which is where I’m training. And when it comes to like the weight room and the sports massage therapists, stuff like that is not accessible at this point,” Brazier said.​

So, like Mikulak and other gymnasts, many of the top U.S. Track & Field athletes have to figure out how to stay in tip-top shape, in case the games go on as scheduled.​

“Realistically, I mean, realistically, do you foresee an Olympics actually happening at this point — the way things are trending?” Brazier said. “I think the way things continue to trend — I don’t think they will. But I’d like to be optimistic at this point. I mean, to help with my daily life, I still have a job to do and I still have work to do and I still have the ability to do it but just not the accessibility I usually do.”​

So, now Brazier is left to decide whether to stay in Oregon and figure out how to train, or move back to Michigan with familiar and comfortable surroundings, which is not the best scenario in an Olympic year.​

“The Olympics only come around every four years. How devastating would it be if it doesn’t happen? Yeah, that’s definitely a rough one. That would be devastating,” Brazier said. ​

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