USAV Athletes React to Tokyo 2020 Postponement

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | March 26, 2020, 3:28 p.m. (ET)

Jordan Larson was one of many U.S. national team members to react to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games postponement
Jordan Larson was one of many U.S. national team members to react to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games postponement

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 26, 2020) - USA Volleyball national team athletes and coaches react to Tuesday's announcement that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games have been postponed.

Jordan Larson: KOLN TV (Lincoln, Neb.)
"A lot of us are a little bit bummed. I am most grateful that it's not canceled. That could've been 10 times worse. I think that's a great benefit for us - it gives us more time to prepare."

Kim Hill: KPTV (Portland, Oregon) Story - Video
“You could kind of see it coming over the last few weeks and I’ve been kind of mentally preparing myself for it, but when the official news comes it’s very disappointing. It’s understandable and it’s the right choice, but as an athlete who has been training four years for this and making plans around it and life plans around it, it’s disappointing ... Everyone knows there’s a bigger issue here and for the sake of humanity, you know, as disappointing as it is, I think most all athletes understand and acknowledge that this is the best course of action and we’re all willing to move forward and go with it."

Jordan Larson on postponing her planned retirement after 2020 Olympic Games: KOLN TV (Lincoln, Neb.)
"Putting on the USA jersey means the world to me. That's why I'm okay with it extending a year."

John Speraw: Volleyball Magazine
“It was interesting for me because I wasn’t surprised, and, yet, at the same time it was just sad. The athletes and coaches put in all this time for four, eight, 12 years or a lifetime of dreams into that moment and there’s this four-year period that’s a crescendo to that moment and all of a sudden that moment moves. And it was a little sad to see. The priority is clearly everyone’s health. Family health. Athletes’ health. The positions that athletes were being put in to continue to train or potentially qualify ... and certainly the general public health is a priority. The Olympics are sport. We know sports are important, but not as important as the lives of our parents, our grandparents and players.”

Jordan Larson: Lincoln Journal Star
“Obviously I know this is a difficult time for everyone. I just hope people are still supportive of Team USA. We have a big mission, and I think now we just have a little bit more time to prepare. And for me I’m excited for that, and I hope everybody else is, too.”

Matt Anderson: Volleyball Magazine
“I think that it is sad and a huge bummer, but also the best option for the safety and fairness of all of the athletes.”

Jordan Larson on desire to be part of Team USA in rescheduled Olympic Games in 2021: Lincoln Journal Star
“Yes, definitely. I’m in it. I’m committed, and I’m going to try and be there if my body and mind allow me.”

Foluke Akinradewo
"It’s certainly a dichotomy of emotions. On one end, I’m grateful for the extra time to fully heal and get back to optimal shape, but I wish it weren’t under these circumstances. The world is really hurting right now and it’s heartbreaking."

Karch Kiraly: Associated Press
“Many have both a sense of relief and of grief. Tons of unknowns. We will of course reset, re-engage, and figure out things one day at a time."

Rachael Adams: Cincinnati Enquirer
"As an athlete, it's heartbreaking news, but I truly believe health and well-being should always be the priority. I will continue to work and train with my team to be ready for 2021. I wish everybody good health during these challenging times and send a huge thank you to the people and workers at the front line of the pandemic. Together, we can fight this."

Emily Stockman: KKTV (Colorado Springs)
"We're kind of excited, which sounds crazy but excited in a sense of, we get an extra year to prepare. Not that we weren't prepared cause we were. But I think now it's going to be even more exciting. This is something that's going to go down in history so It's kind of cool to be a part of it."

Morgan Hentz: Cincinnati Enquirer
“I’m saddened by the postponement of the Olympics especially for the athletes who have tirelessly poured their hearts and souls into this event. However, I think many realize that the world is facing an unprecedented situation and big decisions have to be more in order to ensure the health and safety of people comes first.”

Morgan Hentz on whether playing in the Olympics is a major goal of hers but she considered herself a longshot to get on the team this year: Cincinnati Enquirer
“I’m just getting started in the national team gym. It would definitely be a goal of mine but that’s a long way off now and there are a lot of incredible athletes currently on the team. I have a lot of training and work to do from now until then if I want to have a chance.”

Tori Dixon: Fox 9 TV (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
"You play your whole life with the goal being the Olympics, and winning the Olympics gold. Hearing it could be canceled because something that is so out of your control really, was tough. I am happy that it is just postponed. Trying to look at the positive side, if we use this time right ... this could be a beneficial year for us. We just have more time to get better."

Jillian Williams: Personal Blog
"As athletes we are taught to fight through adversity so this is something HUGE we have been training for! Take this time to fuel your minds more than anything. Be thankful for this extra time and I hope it has lit a different fire under you like it has to me. TOKYO 2021 may not sound the same but I pray it will be bigger, better and MORE MEANINGFUL than TOKYO 2020! Stay safe and stay healthy. I know these times are scary and very uncertain but I pray you know that He will never fail you!"

Lauren Carlini: Volleyball Magazine
“Of course I wanted to get the chance to compete for the Olympic team this year. I’m bummed. I’m bummed because I felt like I put myself in a good position leading up to this summer mentally, physically and emotionally. The best way to put it is I felt like a caged lion just waiting to be released. And now they told us to pump the brakes and wait another year. I’m glad they are going to only postpone it by one year, and not two years or cancel it. That would have been absolutely devastating and my emotions would be way different than they are now.”

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