By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
A few weeks ago, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics made the formal decision to postpone the 2020 Summer Games and shift them a year down the road to July/August 2021.
The delay created any number of scenarios for Olympic athletes, Canadian or otherwise.
A one year delay means an extra year of training, hoping to physically peak at the perfect moment.
For Olympic athletes, almost all of whom are amateur, an additional year also means another year of financial challenges.
Plus for some athletes, 2020 was to mark the end of their competitive road; so now post athletic careers, maybe family desires, any number of aspects are in limbo or may take precedence over competition.
On another level, it's been suggested that for some Olympic athletes, the delay will allow injuries to heal and/or additional prep time for their event may be beneficial.
There's a lot to consider, a lot of areas that lead to heightened stress and anxiety.
And what happens to these athletes, be it 2020 or 2021, when the end of the line does come ?
How difficult is the transition from being an elite athlete to managing what comes next in life ?
Regarding this last issue comes former Canadian Olympian Melinda Harrison and her book " Personal Next ".
Harrison swam for Canada in the 1984 Olympic Games at Los Angeles, competing in the 200 metre backstroke.
At the LA Games, Harrison was 6th in her heat in 2 minutes and 21 seconds and ranked 19th overall.
That understandably was the peak of her athletic career.
............................Then what ?
" Personal Next " outlines the challenges for a high performance athlete once the games and competitions are competed, once they've achieved a high and realize they can no longer get there, once their routine is altered, once their framework and support group have vanished.
Melinda Harrison's book " Personal Next " was designed for athletes, but the message of transition probably applies to all of us at one point or another.
I'm Fred Wallace