Anthony Herrera’s Olympic dreams are like most who have dedicated their lives to represent their country against the world. The 19-year-old boxer from East Los Angeles only dreams of winning gold.
“Fighting in the Olympics was always big for me, but getting a gold medal is my dream,” Herrera said recently. “I’ve always wanted it because no one can ever take that away from me, and the story and work that is put behind a gold medal is priceless. In my opinion it is harder than winning a world title in professional boxing.”
The chance to win Olympic gold appears to be on hold now for Herrera and the rest of the athletes scheduled to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Originally scheduled to begin on July 24, the Games have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a long-time member of the International Olympic committee.
Dick Pound told USA Today the Olympics would not start as scheduled.
“The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know,” he said.
The IOC had not made an official comment as of Monday evening, but postponing the Olympics is a decision that has to be made in light of the devastation and disruption being caused by COVID-19 and the uncertainty of when things will get better.
Still, it’s a sobering thought that the one event intended to gather the world together and celebrate athletic competition won’t be held because of the need to keep people apart.
“We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense,” Pound told USA Today.
In comparison to losing March Madness, the NBA, NHL, golf, baseball, boxing and UFC, losing the Olympics doesn’t hit as hard to the common sports fan. The Olympics are something that captures our interest for the two weeks it’s on television with one or two special athletes resonating beyond that. Still, we are eager to watch when it’s on in hopes of witnessing a magical event that will be talked about for years to come.
The Summer Games tend to produce more individual stars from track and field, gymnastics, swimming and boxing. Perhaps things will get better, the Olympics can be rescheduled and we’ll learn more about the next group of Olympians like Herrera.
The flyweight used boxing to stay in the gym and out of trouble.
“Once I started boxing, I took it seriously, staying focused and setting goals,” Herrera said before the postponement was announced. “Boxing has been a big part of my life. I’m always looking forward to the next workout or anything boxing related.”
USA Boxing was to begin its final qualification process at the Americas Qualification Tournament this weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the World Qualifier May 13-14 in Paris. Now everything is on hold, perhaps until 2021.
USA Track and Field and USA Swimming have called for a one-year postponement of the Olympics, considering the training regiments of athletes trying to qualify are already being impacted across the globe.
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