Athletes must learn to adapt with control order rulings to succeed

MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi

LET us spare a thought for the athletes who are again forced to go into seclusion or have to forgo training due to the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide.

The world’s top athletes have not been spared of the virus as world No. 1 golfer Dustin Thomas, football star Cristiano Ronaldo and MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi tested positive despite living in a bubble environment.

It struck home that the virus calls the shots and will continue to wreak havoc until a vaccine is found.

Here in Malaysia, the Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican had to seek special exemptions for elite athletes to continue with their training when the conditional movement control order (CMCO) was imposed three days ago.

Athletes are now under strict order to comply with the restrictions and can only travel from their respective hostels to their training venues.

The athletes and coaching staff involved in full-time training have been put up at the National Sports Council hostels and are barred from returning to their hometowns until Oct 31, except for emergencies.

It is certainly a big sacrifice, especially for an athlete who is still in his or her teens, to not just be separated from their families but also to have their wings clipped.

It is not easy for anyone to be in seclusion, especially if they lead an extrovert lifestyle.

One can only wonder if the NSC have psychologists in place to provide counselling and mental support to the athletes.

Anxiety over uncertainties over training programmes and competitions are expected to continue for the next six months.

It’s certainly unusual times but how the athletes approach the derailed plans will determine their path to success or failure when they get to compete.

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