TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Olympic athletes across the world are having to put their plans for Tokyo on hold as they found out this week the 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus.
One of those athletes is Felisha Johnson, a professional track and field thrower. Though many athletes are probably upset with the decision by Japanese leaders and the International Olympic Committee, Johnson is taking the glass half full approach.
“I think it’s for the better,” she said. “I was expecting it to be postponed for the simple fact we don’t know how long this is going to last. I was just preparing for whatever they threw at me.”
Johnson is a native of Indianapolis and graduated from Indiana State University where she was a two-time national champion in the indoor weight throw and also competed strongly in the hammer throw and shot put in outdoor competition. She was also a three-time Missouri Valley Conference champion and a seven-time All-American for the Sycamores.
She turned professional in 2014 as a shot putter and two years later qualified for the 2016 games in Rio De Janeiro.
Johnson said she is still recovering from an injury she sustained in 2017 and that this delay for the Tokyo Games actually works in her favor.
“It’s been taking me a while to get back,” Johnson said. “This is actually helping me with that. It’s a good thing and a bad thing; the bad thing being it’s not going to be in 2020.”
Another reason she believes it’s a good decision is how the coronavirus has factored not just into her training regimen but other athletes as well. Johnson said many athletes haven’t been able to compete at early season track meets in the states since they’ve all been canceled. Plus, training facilities and gyms are all closed.
She said this is causing some athletes to get behind in their training.
“Every place I’ve tried to go and workout has been closed,” said Johnson. “So that’s another thing. You want the athletes to go out and be at their best not, like, throw them out there after only a few weeks of training. So, I think it’s for the better.”
Johnson is trying to keep ahead by doing workouts at home such as yoga and body weights. She said she’s eager for coronavirus fears to start subsiding so that she can back to her regular training regimen and get ready for the Olympic Trials.
Listen to the full interview with Johnson: