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Houston diver calling for postponement of 2020 Summer Olympics

Athletes calling for Summer Olympics to be postponed
Athletes calling for Summer Olympics to be postponed

HOUSTON – Laura Wilkinson knows what it’s like to compete and win at the highest level for her country.

The Houston native diver won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics for the 10-meter platform dive.

Wilkinson has been training for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo for three years after a nine-year retirement. Despite her hard work, the mother of four wants the games postponed due to the spread of coronavirus.

“I think at this point you have to postpone the Olympics because many of the qualifying events have been canceled, not even postponed, canceled because they don’t know when to reschedule them,” she said.

With many countries, including the United States, shutting down gyms and training facilities, Wilkinson said training has been difficult.

“I’ve talked to athletes around the world, and many of us are in the same boat, very few actually have training facilities,” she said.

The International Olympic Committee has taken at least one step toward a decision, releasing a statement saying a decision on postponement will be made within four weeks.

“I think everybody just wants an answer so they can great a game plan to be the best at the time we need to be the best,” Wilkinson said. “Just having a decision, whether it’s for this summer or next year, would give a lot of relief to the athletes.”

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has not made any demands of the IOC, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Team Canada announced Sunday it would not send athletes to the Olympics if they take place in 2020.

Wilkinson wants postponement but is still working toward competing whenever she can.

“As an Olympian, you always have to be ready for whatever craziness comes,” she said.