Utah athletes react after Tokyo Olympics postponed

Mar 24, 2020, 5:50 PM | Updated: 5:54 pm
Olympics postponed...
Some Utah athletes are relieved and others are nervous about the announcement that the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo have been postponed. (Credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
(Credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

SALT LAKE CITY — There are some broken hearts, but, also a sense of relief in Utah after the International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

But despite the relief, some analysts say the delay will have a large impact on these athletes.

Salt Lake City resident Kathleen Noble earned a spot on the Ugandan rowing team for the Tokyo games. She admits that her ‘head hasn’t been right’ with all of the uncertainty over whether or not the games would be called off.

“Actually, it was kind of relieving that they made a decision,” she said, “because the last two weeks trying to train has been hard mentally.

“It was like, ‘Why am I putting in all this work?  It’s not going to happen, anyway.’”

Mixed emotions

The delay is definitely “a bummer,” Noble said, admitting she’s loved getting to know her coaches and her teammates. But, given the situation, she believes it would have been irresponsible for the games to continue as planned.  However, she’s not exactly sure if she’ll still have a spot on the team in 2021.

“I’m hoping that I don’t need to requalify.  I think it would be a big hassle to reorganize those qualification events,” Noble said.

Hall of Fame skier Trace Worthington says most of the spots on the U.S. ski team haven’t been awarded, yet.  So, a lot of frontrunners trying to make the team may have a tougher time getting a spot than they originally thought.

“Maybe, somebody was injured and now has recovery time.  Maybe, somebody is going to peak later and might get a spot,” Worthington said.

Timing is a crucial element for Olympic training, according to Worthington.  He says many athletes have planned their training so they would reach their physical peak by this summer.

He says, “All of the athletes are peaking very soon because they have to peak for the qualification process, which is, typically, supposed to happen right now.”

Complex decision making

Utah Sports Commission CEO Jeff Robbins says he’s not surprised the IOC took as long as they did to make their decision.  He says the business model of the games is extremely delicate, and postponing them can have a negative impact on many different industries.

“You’ve got sponsors putting significant resources into the games,” Robbins said.

Some analysts believe postponing the 2020 Olympics may affect how cities bid on the games in the future.  They say cities may reconsider once they see how something like a virus can ruin years of planning.

Contributing: Alex Cabrero, KSL TV



Japanese PM and IOC chief agree to postpone 2020 Olympics

The Latest: WHO expects rise in reported cases, deaths

Today’s Top Stories


Aaron Fotheringham, aka "Wheelz" from Nitro Circus taught and performed tricks at Wheelchair Palooz...
Waverly Golden

Wheelchair Palooza at Woodward Park City

Aaron Fotheringham, aka "Wheelz" from Nitro Circus taught and performed tricks at Wheelchair Palooza in Park City.
2 days ago
Screenshot from the BYU documentary about the Black 14. 10 of the players are pictured next to a ne...
Chris Jacobs

BYU premieres documentary ‘The Black 14: Healing Hearts and Feeding Souls’

The new BYU documentary, "The Black 14" Healing Hearts and Feeding Souls," focuses on a 1969 football game between BYU and the University of Wyoming.
3 days ago
EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 17: The line of scrimmage between the Oregon Ducks and the Brigham Young Cou...
Curt Gresseth

Reporter talks about ugly chant from students at BYU-Oregon game

A Deseret News reporter tat the BYU-Oregon football game on Saturday talks about the anti-LDS chant heard and filmed from the student section and what may happen next.
6 days ago
Easton Oliverson, the Little League baseball player, who was injured in a fall from a bunk bed, ret...
Adam Small

Injured Utah Little Leaguer returns home, family files lawsuit

The lawsuit filed by Easton Oliverson's Utah family is against Little League Baseball and the makers of the bunkbed involved in the accident.
6 days ago
The little league player that was critically injured after falling off a  bunk bed is now fighting ...
Randall Jeppesen and Mark Jones

Easton Oliverson family files lawsuit against LLBB and bunk bed makers

A lawsuit has been filed by the family of Easton Oliverson against Little League Baseball and the makers of the bunk beds he fell off and injured his head just prior to the Little League World Series.
7 days ago
Utah school sports...
Chandler Holt

Two studies sum up Utah’s professional athletic abilities

Just how athletic is Utah? How many pro-athletes are from the Beehive state? Two recent studies shed light on these questions..
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Utah athletes react after Tokyo Olympics postponed