This is familiar to Edmonton’s Cheryl Gibson. It was in 1980 that athletes in a lot of western nations wouldn’t get a chance to compete for their country because of a boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
The nations decided against going after Russia invaded Afghanistan.
“By the time we got to our trials, we knew we weren’t going,” Gibson said of Canada’s Olympic swimming trials, which still went ahead despite the boycott. “It’s a big letdown afterwards, you do all that training.”
Story continues below advertisement
Coronavirus outbreak: Plane leaves to collect Olympic flame as IOC signals summer Games still on
Gibson had competed in the 1976 Games, winning a silver medal in the 400-metre individual medley. She remembers that helped her cope with missing the 1980 Olympics.
Like many, Gibson is still hopeful that these Summer Games will go ahead. It’ll be a true test of the athletes’ mental strength.
“They’re gonna have to show some real resilience,” Gibson said. “If the Olympics does go ahead, it will be the people who were able to carry on their training and stay with the program even through all the crazy.