No hard feelings: Japanese trampolinist resets goals after COVID-19 postpones Tokyo Games
SAITAMA (JAPAN) – Trampolinist Tetsuya Sotomura of Japan was rooting for his country’s final qualification spot for the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year. But the postponement of the Games upset his dreams.
The 35-year-old had already made up his mind that the Tokyo Games would be his last event. But the rescheduling of the event because of the pandemic has left him in the lurch as he knows his body wouldn’t hold up for another year.
“Before corona, I already decided I would retire after the Tokyo Olympics, meaning this summer, 2020,” Sotomura said.
“The news was very shocking,” he added. “I wanted to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 but the Games moved to one year later. This effectively meant my retirement.”
His gymnast father Koji had clinched two bronze medals at the 1984 Olympics and Tetsuya just missed repeating that feat when he came fourth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Because of injuries, he could not compete in further Games. But he thought of giving it one last shot on home turf although he is in his thirties.
He is not dejected. Instead, he is focusing on new projects, such as working with Airbnb’s athlete experiences programme and starting his own trampoline centre.
“Of course my wife and my family hoped that I would go into the Olympics and they support me, so (they) are a little sad I retired,” said Sotomura.
“But, they are in a hard situation with corona so I am happy I can support them.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field