For Mairaj Khan and Shivpal Singh Olympic dreams bigger than coronavirus concerns
Two Indian athletes -- Mairaj Khan and Shivpal Singh-- who have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics share what it feels to be a sportsperson in times of coronavirus pandemic which has drastically affected the world of sports.
Coronavirus pandemic has wrecked havoc in the world of sports. Athletes have been tested positive for the novel COVID-19 virus. Numerous sports tournaments have either come to an abrupt halt or have got cancelled across the globe. So powerful has been the impact of the pandemic on sports that even the biggest sporting event on the planet the Olympics is now running into the danger of getting cancelled.
Playing in Olympics is every sportsperson dream. If the Olympics do get cancelled, it will be a major set back of athletes who invest years of toil to make their dream come true.
But, health risks aside athletes are keen to participate in the games.
Indian shooter, Mairaj Ahmad Khan in an interview to the Indian Express said that even if the Olympics are held now he will compete no matter the consequences.
"If the Olympics were to be held now, despite the health risk that the coronavirus poses, I would go and compete without even thinking about the consequences... it’s my dream and I can put my life on the line to win an Olympic medal,” said the shooter.
Indian Olympic Committee (IOC) has time and again mentioned that Olympics will be held and they are preparing for the games.
With qualifying tournaments too getting cancelled players fear that they might miss the bus to Tokyo.
Javelin thrower Shivpal Singh has booked his berth for the Tokyo games. In these dire times, Singh remains upbeat.
"My dream is to win an Olympic medal and ultimately you will be called an Olympic champion; no one will bother or care to remember if it was behind closed doors.”, Singh said.
"Even though athletes are taught to brush off disappointments and move forward. But this is not just another tournament. I will definitely pack my bags for Tokyo if the event happens, whether risky or not. It’s a dream for every athlete to be at the biggest sporting stage in the world. It’s my desire to do well at the Games and until then I won’t rest in peace.” Singh said.
While participating at the Olympics is an achievement in itself, one can certainly not neglect the threat.