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Coronavirus: B.C. Olympian says stay home, ‘now is the time to think of the greater good’

Coronavirus: B.C. Olympian says stay home, ‘think of the greater good’
Marathon runner Malindi Elmore of Kelowna says the IOC’s decision to cancel 2020 Olympics this summer was the right choice.

A former Olympic athlete’s social media post is getting a lot of attention.

On Saturday, Malinidi Elmore of Kelowna took to Facebook to share a message of national unity during the COVID-19 crisis.

It was a message that came two days before the Canadian Olympic Committee announced it would not send athletes to the Olympics in Japan this summer.

READ MORE: Japan’s PM, IOC say 2020 Olympics will be postponed over coronavirus

Elmore was considered a shoe-in for the 2020 Olympics, after recently setting a new Canadian women’s marathon record.

At the Houston Marathon in January, Elmore clocked a time if 2:24:50, shaving off two minutes and six seconds off the previous record.

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It was a time that made her a front-runner for the Canadian Olympic team — until the novel coronavirus pandemic seemingly crushed her chances of competing in Japan.

Olympic Gold Medalist Adam Van Koeverden reacts to Olympics postponement
Olympic Gold Medalist Adam Van Koeverden reacts to Olympics postponement

This week, the International Olympic Committee postponed the Summer Games, news that Elmore was quietly thankful for.

“I am really grateful that Canada took the lead on that and made the right call,” Elmore admitted.

However, the COC’s choice not to attend is a double-edged sword for the 40-year-old marathoner, who also represented Canada at the 2004 Games in the 1,500 metres.

“It was sort of a mixture of being disappointed but also a huge sense of relief because I thought it was the right decision,” Elmore confessed.

The Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame member first stepped on to Olympic stage in 2004 in Athens, where unfortunately she failed to qualify for the final race in the 1,500m.

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Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser reacts to the Games postponement
Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser reacts to the Games postponement

Fast forward 16 years, and Elmore is hoping to return to the Olympics for a second go-round, though she’s more concerned with COVID-19.

“I’m having to deal with what everyone is having to deal with right now, which is adjusting to something that completely flipped our world over,” Elmore said.

In the midst of all this uncertainty and personal disappointment, though, Elmore has not lost sight of the bigger picture.

Elmore says she knows full well that the coronavirus crisis is far more important than the summer Olympics in Japan.

“We’re not always used to thinking always of the collective good,” she said, “but now is the time to be thinking about the good for the country and the world and not just ourselves.”

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Coronavirus outbreak: Trump says Japan made ‘absolute right’ decision to delay Olympics
Coronavirus outbreak: Trump says Japan made ‘absolute right’ decision to delay Olympics

Elmore shared her thoughts-posting a message on Facebook that read in part:

“All around me I see people doing brave things – closing their small businesses, cancelling important events, and going to work in essential services,” Elmore wrote, adding

“Also around me I see people NOT doing what they need to do. I hope we can all encourage them to understand how important it is to be united now.

“We need to be part of the fight by staying home,” Elmore concluded.

Athletes react to Canadian Olympic Committee’s decision to not attend Tokyo Games
Athletes react to Canadian Olympic Committee’s decision to not attend Tokyo Games

The latest from the IOC is that provided there is a widely available vaccine, the 2020 Summer Olympics could go ahead sometime in 2021.

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“I’m optimistic and hopeful that by then the world will be ready,” Elmore said.