It was shaping up to be a big year with projects such as debut novels, feature films, festivals, music showcases and even a trip to the Olympics on the cards. And then a global pandemic put the kibosh on everything.
Liam Jegou is a slalom canoeist who became the first Irish athlete formally selected for Tokyo Olympics. They were meant to happen this month but have been postponed to 2021.
I qualified for the Olympics in October 2019 after winning our Olympic selections in London. From that point onward all our preparations were geared towards July 2020. We had several camps in Tokyo planned up until then. Things were going well up until February, my coach and I went to train for two weeks in Al-Ain, it’s only when we got back to Europe two weeks later that we started to realise how bad the situation was. Just after leaving the UAE, the Cycling tour was canceled and cyclists were put into quarantine. I guess you could say I was anticipating an unforgettable year and in a sense, that’s exactly what we got…
What have we gained?
More time to prepare for the games and quality family time on Zoom.
What did you learn?
How to train effectively in 70m2.
What did you miss?
What’s next for you?
There is talk of European championships to be held in Prague from September 18-20. I’m preparing for this race, hopefully, it will be confirmed soon.
Words: Michael McDermott
Feature Image: Liam Jegou by Nicolas Peschier