Central Ohio Olympic hopefuls staying optimistic

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Less than two weeks ago, gymnasts Alec Yoder and Trevor Howard were training for an Olympics that on paper were four months away, but mentally, felt much further.

Last Tuesday, athletes around the world learned the Games in Tokyo would be in 2021. A move applauded by many who saw the writing on the wall

“The beauty of the Olympics is competing against the best in the world when they are at their best,” said Yoder. “You know, it’s kind of an unfair playing field to compete against others who might not have had the chance or same opportunity to train that you did.”

The delay could be beneficial for Yoder, a former Ohio State gymnast. Last August, he had surgery for a torn labrum and bicep tendon.

“Being able to get healthy is the ultimate positive,” said Yoder. “Give my body some time to recover more without having to push the envelope too far. This presents a unique opportunity for me to get healthy and at the same time, improve my difficulty in a couple events.”

2020 was supposed to be Howard’s last year in the sport. Now retirement is on hold for the Columbus native for one more run at his dream.

“I was ready and prepared but at the same time, I was not doing all the gymnastics I wanted to in my final year,” said Howard. “But yes, I was ready to retire. My body was ready to retire but you only get one shot at it so it will definitely be one for the record books.”

For bothmen, training cannot and will not slow down so whenever the Olympic Trials come, they wil be in peak form. But for now, it’s all about priorities.

“With the Olympics being postponed, now I can really focus on doing my part with following guidelines and practicing social distancing and different things like that so that as a community, if we can do that, I think that moves us all in the right direction,” said Yoder.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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