For two days I enjoyed the feeling of being selected for the Great Britain Olympic Team. Then came the inevitable announcement from the International Olympic Commission; “The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are postponed to no later than July 2021”. I have to admit that even though the postponement is totally the right thing to do, I mean the world has far bigger and more important things to do right now, my first reaction was, “shit”. I couldn’t understand why pundits like Mathew Pinsent were being interviewed and saying that the Games should be postponed or cancelled. Sure, he was right, but it also felt like he didn’t speak for me, he’s won his four golds, it’s taken me eight years to get selected. It was a real anticlimax. My family throw me an Olympic selection party, which included a cake with 2021 written on it, but truth be told, it felt like a dream that once I had tentatively in my grasp suddenly disappeared.
I found it hard to see athletes almost instantaneously take to social media and proclaim, “what’s one more year?”, “2021 it is then”, “Tokyo 2021 etc…”. It’s difficult to fathom that what I was so looking forward to: Being an Olympian, representing Great Britain, going for gold, is not going to happen in 2020, a date that I have had almost indelibly ingrained in my subconscious for four years. It doesn’t feel real. That being said, I moped around for a day. I tried to do an indoor rowing session, but got off, something I don’t think I’ve ever done before (or will do again). Postponement is the right call, but, 2021 feels so far away. That evening all of us in the squad got an email saying GB wouldn’t be taking our Olympic selection forward as there was now no Games in 2020. An inevitable and relatively innocuous message, but it suddenly felt like; was I ever even selected, was it too good to be true?