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Canada's Deanne Rose on rescheduled Tokyo 2020

Canada's Deanne Rose on rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and life during COVID-19 times

March 31, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
The Coronavirus pandemic has directly impacted athletes around the globe. Canada and Florida Gators forward Deanne Rose shared what it was like to have Tokyo 2020 snatched from her, and how she has been coping during these rough times.

Rose celebrated her 21st birthday on March 3 in Calais, France, while traveling with the Canadian national team to participate in the Tournoi de France. But little did she know that the world would turn sideways in the following weeks.

The Coronavirus pandemic began to impact Rose indirectly on March 12, when the NCAA canceled its remaining winter and spring championships. 

"It's so devastating just the thought of losing your season in your senior year to something that nobody could have predicted," Rose said via a Zoom press conference.

The NCAA came up with a solution by announcing that spring athletes will be getting another year of eligibility on March 20.

This first scare turned into a nightmare for the Canadian when she learned that the Canadian Olympic Committee refused to send its athletes to Tokyo on March 22. 

"At first I was very scared," Rose said. "I was worried that the Olympics were going to go on and Canada wasn't going to get a chance to participate."

But after Canada's announcement came Australia's, and on March 24, the International Olympic Committee announced that the Olympic Games would be rescheduled to 2021.

"When the IOC did postpone the games, I felt a little bit of relief," Rose said. "But I was still upset because of the hard work that I put in and the sacrifice that I have made this year and last year."

Two days later, IOC officials determined that the Olympic games are set to start on July 23, 2021.

"It just kind of sucked for all of that [preparations] to have to be dragged on for another year," Rose said. "Olympic preparation is something that is hard to sustain, so just thinking about doing it all over again is pretty tough."

Nonetheless, Rose acknowledged that the decisions made by the Canadian Olympic Committee and IOC were for the best.

"I realized how serious COVID-19 is and how serious some people's situations' are over in Europe," Rose said. "I think it was the right decision for the safety of athletes."

Rose won bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games scoring Canada's game-winner against Brazil to clinch the medal. In doing so, she became the youngest player to score at the Women's Olympic Tournament, and she was looking forward to reliving a summer like the one four years ago.

"Training for something really hard that's in a couple of months is different from training for something that it's in a year so it's kind of a mind and physical shift," Rose said.

Anyhow, her life must go on. The next big thing for the rising senior is her final season as a Florida Gator set to begin in August. But she is not optimistic about it, given all the current setbacks and the uncertainty that the future holds.

"I'm definitely worried for our fall season," Rose said. "It's easy to look at a sport that are being directly impacted right now, but some people might not realize how impacted our [fall] sports are."

Rose chose to stay at UF in Gainesville, Florida, to have more options when it comes to training. But even then, the 2019 All-SEC Team recipient is finding it hard to practice. There are limitations to what the players can and can't do. The fields and gyms are closed, but she has ways of getting access to balls, takes on drills and works out. 

Nonetheless, soccer is a contact sport where you must rely heavily on teammates.

"Soccer is a team sport," Rose said. "Training by yourself and running by yourself, that's not what we do."

Rose ended by saying that at the end of the day there are positives to the peculiar situation. 

"It's definitely hard and it definitely takes a lot of self-motivation, but I think there are positives," Rose said. "People can be self-motivated and work out on their own, so when we get together, we're just going to be greater." 

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