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Tokyo 2021, it sounds strange, doesn’t it?

“What does it mean if the Olympics are cancelled?” Wrote my colleague Leah Kirchmann in her last blog.

After a couple of days with lots of fake news and suspence, from a few hours the Olympic Committee made it official and decided to postpone the biggest sport event to next year.

Tokyo 2021, it sounds strange, doesn’t it? It has been the wiser decision they could take, and I am talking from my personal, Italian point of view. 

My Country is facing a big challenge at the moment, where all scopes are involved: public health, public instruction, economy, sport.

Our hospitals are collapsing, with no more space in intensive care, doctors and nurse getting sick and working much more than a human body can sustain, schools are closed since one month now, most of the factories are not allowed to produce giving our economy a bang, and 90% of professional athletes are not allowed to train.

The frustration I had in the beginning, when they told us : “no cycling on the road, no walking on open air, not even walking out your dog for more than 200metres away from home” very quickly turned into sadness, concern, powerlessness feelings, and I knew I had to be a citizen with some responsibilities towards others before being a cyclist when it became clear that Covid-19 was much more than a normal flu and was going to be named “World pandemic” killing more than 5000 people only in Italy.

I understood I had to play my part, staying home, not having any contact with others except my boyfriend- this for me is the hardest thing at the moment, having my family 5kms from home and not being able to spend some time with them- and putting my ego aside for a greater and more important goal.

Let’s be honest: it sounds easy, but is not. As a cyclist, very often I did put my plans over everything and everyone. A training many times has been more important than a dinner with friends, a day on the beach, a picnic with my family. But most of all, I sacrificed time with my family and time at home to be in warmer or higher or race places.

That’s why In the last days, many times I had to remember myself this is not the moment to be fast, not the moment to be hard with myself, not the right moment to be chasing something. This is a rare moment and now, being luckily healthy,I have the privilege to not being in hurry, not having a plane to take, not having to show my potential to someone, not having to say goodbye to my boyfriend before heading to the next race or the next training camp.

This is the time for reading, calling friends, studying, learning a new language (my attempt to learn basic French is still on!!), building that library we wanted to since a long time, practicing latte art, working on our body or mind weakness, cooking something nice for our partner.

Talking about training, I laugh when I see people too concerned about it: I am the biggest fan of training outside, and I always preferred a wet ride rather than being on a trainer, but hey guys, there are so many ways to be able to keep the form nowadays, with the help of our coaches, the best support from technological smart trainers and virtual apps like Zwift who is making the indoor training hours more enjoyable, more productive and more fun. I am really appreciating being on the trainer in these days, casue I can still sweat up with my team mates and ride along some nice jungles in the morning and through the streets of London in the afternoon. And for everyone who thinks indoor training is not effective, it is: last year after breaking my wrist at The Women’s Tour, I won a silver medal at the European Road Championships less then two months later and after three weeks of indoor training.

To slow down, most importantly, is the best way to help our world now. Do it with a smile and you’ll feel great.

Hoping this blog kept you busy for few minutes during your quarantine 🙂 I send everyone out the best wishes and a virtual hug! 

Don’t forget to follow me on Insta (@elenacek) and Twitter (@ElenaCecchini92)

Elena

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