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New Zealand Team Chef de Mission Rob Waddell has praised the reaction of athletes following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Last Wednesday the International Olympic Committee confirmed the Games will be postponed to 2021.

The move was supported by the NZOC and New Zealand's Olympic athletes.

“I’m very proud of the way the New Zealand Team has reacted to this decision,” Waddell said.

“Changing the date of the Olympic Games is hugely challenging and will affect different athletes in different ways. Our athletes have been extremely understanding and we want to thank them for working with us on this process.

"We would also like to acknowledge that adapting to this change isn't going to be easy for everyone and we will be working to support athletes as they alter their preparation plans."

With New Zealand going into lockdown last week athletes have been forced to become creative with their training methods.

All training centres have closed, meaning most athletes are training from makeshift setups at home.

“Our athletes are used to training at high-performance centres week-in week-out, so it’s a tricky situation for them but we’ve been really inspired by the resilience they’re showing and the way they’re adapting to the situation.

“We’ve seen canoe slalom athlete Luuka Jones using cans of food as weights, and many of our athletes have converted their garages into home gyms as they work to stay in peak physical condition.”

Trampolinist Dylan Schmidt is one of those training from home.

The Rio Olympian has a trampoline he’s using in his yard, with a weights setup indoors.

“It’s very different to how I normally train but it’s a bit of a novelty and I’m loving not having to commute,” Schmidt said.

“The call to postpone the Games took a while to sink in because I’ve been aiming towards this for so long but we’ll get there eventually and it gives me more time to get the little things right and prepare.”

A decision on dates for the Olympic Games is expected mid-April and Waddell says further information will be communicated to athletes as soon as it comes to hand.

He's also encouraging all New Zealanders to look out for one another during the lockdown.

"Health and wellbeing is extremely important to not just athletes but all New Zealanders at this time. Please stay fit and well and look out for each other."


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