The International Olympics Committee made the decision Tuesday morning to officially postpone the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The decision comes in response to athletes’ inability to properly train because of COVID-19. Midland-native and USA Track and Field’s Bryce Hoppel said he agreed with the committee’s decision.
“As much as we didn’t want it to happen, it kind of had to happen,” the mid-distance runner said.
USATF joined USA Swimming in asking the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee to ask to postpone the games since athletes would be unable to properly train. Hoppel said USATF and USOPC surveyed the athletes to get their opinions and kept them informed throughout the process.
The IOC stated the games would start by 2021 at the latest, and Hoppel is looking at the silver lining of the decision. Though he was excited to potentially compete in his first Olympics, Hoppel said this will give him another year to train.
“Personally, I’ve been so excited for it, so to kind of have it creep back a little bit, it’s a little disappointing. But I don’t know, I’ve always just seen myself as trying to get better and better and maybe in a year, I’ll be even faster, and just kind of work harder and keep going for it,” he said.
The Olympics have been canceled just three times- all in response to global conflict. The IOC did say that cancelation is not in consideration, at this point. This is the first time the games have been postponed for a year.
The 800-meter runner made the decision to go professional last summer and has represented the U.S. in the Pan American Games, Worlds, the National Indoor Championship and more.
Hoppel said he now has to get in touch with his coach to work out a training program. He said he was not sure if there will be any more meets or a season in general before the Olympic trails.
Watch the video above to hear from Hoppel.