One year more or less? – the affects of postponing the Paralympics

The Paralympics was postponed as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, it will be organized from the 24th of August until the 5th of September in 2021. The decisive effect of the pandemic in many cases restrained the preparation of athletes to the Paralympics. Also, the past year has not been enough to introduce, master and improve a completely new methodology, training culture in most sports.

“It is absolutely the right thing to do,” says Andrew Parsons, the president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). He adds, “the health and well-being of human life must always be our number one priority and staging a sport event of any kind during this pandemic is simply not possible.”

“The pandemic was a new challenge for everyone,” says Béla Müller, the Communications Director of the Hungarian Paralympic Committee. In the beginning restrictions lowered the opportunity to play sports in sports centers by laying down limitations to the number of guests and the distance. Then, during the lockdowns most of the athletes faced difficulties. Zsanett Adámi, part of the Hungarian Paralimpic National Team says “From the 14th of March, I couldn’t go to workouts. Now I can, and I also had the opportunity in the summer, but I didn’t want to risk my grandparents ’health by going to the pool. So I was very careful.”

The postponement caused difficulties, but there are also many of the athletes who have benefited from it. “Be it an injury or just having a child, but even a simple plus a year of experience,” says Müller. He sees the greatest disadvantage in the absence of the competitions, but as he goes all sports federations and international organizations are working to make up for these missed events.

“Most people didn’t perceive it as a disadvantage, but as having one more year to prepare, get stronger, and get better at the task,” mentions Adámi. She explains that in her age (26) one year does not make a difference but for the 18-year-olds this period is crucial as their muscles and attitude can alter a lot.

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