Olympics Moved; A Dream Delayed for Local Athlete

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Morolake Akinosun

March 24, 2020… the International Olympic Committee’s decision to postpone the 2020 Toyko Games until 2021 was announced. The ripple effect has spanned the globe, and even reached local gold medal winning sprinter Morolake Akinosun.

Morolake Akinosun: “Towards the end of the indoor season I ran my second-fastest 60 ever. I was feeling great in training and really excited for this season and what was to come and now it’s kind of been put on pause.

The sprinter is a former IHSA State Champion in the 100 meter at Waubonsie Valley and a two time National Champion in the 4 by 400 relay at the University of Texas. Akinosun was also a member of the 4 by 100 gold medal winning relay team at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Uncertain Future

Until just a few days ago, the 25 year old didn’t know if she would get an opportunity to compete for another medal in 2020.

Morolake Akinosun: “Prior to this week there was little to none. There was no overall communication with us so we could know the process of what was about to happen.

Then came the shelter-in-place orders on top of mandates from governments to practice social distancing.

Morolake Akinosun: “[After stay-at-home orders started being announced] Then we started to hear from the USOC and team USA specifically and our governing body, USA Track and Field, asking us ‘how’s it going? How is it effecting you?’ and there was actually a survey sent out to all Team USA athletes asking, would you prefer if the Olympics were suspended and how this has effected your training ability.

USA Track and Field successfully petitioned the IOC to postpone the Olympics.

What Should be Happening?

In a time when the outdoor season was set to begin, with the Olympic Trials to be held in mid June followed by the Olympics in late July, Olympic athletes are waiting for the starters gun.

Morolake Akinosun: “There’s always a silver lining of ‘well, we have one more year to get ready, we have one more year to prepare’ but you never know what’s going to happen in that one year for every single athlete. You don’t know what life circumstances may change. You don’t know what injuries may or may not occur.

While many other athletes aren’t able to train, Akinosun is still working out in Austin, Texas – though, without the aid of a weight room or physical therapy.

Even without a date announced for the Toyko Olympics.

Reporting for Naperville News 17, I’m Kevin Jackman