Saskatoon athletes finding ways to stay active during COVID-19 pandemic
SASKATOON -- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, various sporting events and competitions have been cancelled and athletes are no longer able to train in ways they normally would.
Shanna and Blake Tierney are competitive swimmers with the Saskatoon Goldfins.
They have been swimming for about 10 years and both qualified for the Olympic trials in swimming. However, it has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's disappointing but I think it was a really good decision made by Swim Canada and Swim Sask. It's for the best, for the safety of the athletes and the volunteers and spectators and everyone,” Shanna said.
Earlier this week, it was announced that the summer Olympics in Tokyo are being postponed until 2021, with dates to be determined.
But, Shanna and Blake are taking a positive spin on it.
"We can get another year of training before it happens and we might even have a better chance of making the Olympics,” Shanna said.
Huskies Track & Field coach Jason Riendl said his team will also be affected, especially because it is unclear when they’ll be able to get back to training.
"It takes us three, four, five six, eight months to be able to get ready to be able to compete at the level that we need to do to qualify for an Olympic team, and so being able to turn that on within an instant is very tough,” he said.
With pools, gyms and other training facilities now closed, athletes are having to find creative ways to stay fit and continue training.
"All of our athletes have been encouraged to go for runs, bike rides, home-based circuits, whatever they can do to stay active and keep whatever fitness we can hold onto,” said Reindl.
Shanna and Blake are also finding ways to keep training every day.
"We all Facetime over zoom and our coach runs a workout or just watch a video,” Blake said.
Shanna added, "It's definitely hard because you lose your feel for the water, but we just have to keep up our cardio and strength and everything, like we're doing lots of pull cords and lots of running."