As athletes face uncertainty again amid the COVID-19 pandemic, mixed with political unrest, ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, gold medalist Damian Warner is encouraging the adaptability.
“I think the more flexible you are, whatever the situation you’ll be able to handle,” Warner said. The stream guest host Paul Hunter.
“I think if you have that ability, it’s something else that some of your competition might not have.”
Warner was recently appointed Canadian Press Male Athlete of the Year, and crowned the best Canadian athlete of the year with the Lou Marsh Trophy.
The 32-year-old from London, Ont. Showed his adaptability by winning decathlon gold in Tokyo, despite the Olympics being delayed, the possibility that they did not take place at all and the having to deal with intense heat when he was there.
Warner won Canada’s first Olympic decathlon title, and set an Olympic record and a Canadian record. He also became only the fourth man in history to cross the 9,000 point mark in this event.
Warner said blocking out the stress and uncertainty surrounding the Olympics was key to his success.
“Then all you need to focus on is performing well on the track or on the ice or wherever you need to be.”
Warner said it also means blocking the politics surrounding the Olympics. Earlier in December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada launch a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which are due to start on February 1. Although no representative of the federal government attends the games, Canadian athletes will still be permitted to compete.
Warner, who is a summer Olympian and as such, will not compete, acknowledged the stressful atmosphere, but said that “all of these other political things go out the window when you’re out there and your only one. goal is to compete as the best you can and enjoy this moment. “
“Those [athletes] work so hard and they are training so hard to get to this moment. So I think it’s imperative that they go out there and just enjoy the whole competition and not necessarily focus on anything outside. “
In a statement, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) said it “understands and respects” the government’s decision and applauds the effort to “make an important distinction between the participation of athletes and the participation of government officials.”
Warner will defend the decathlon title
Warner is focused on his next track and field season. He will compete at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Serbia in March and the Athletics World Championships in the United States in July.
He is also considering a few years and plans to defend his gold medal in the decathlon at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
“I don’t know how you could get past the feelings of winning your first Olympic gold,” Warner said.
Warner has another goal on his list that he’s working on: he wants to be the world record holder in the decathlon. Frenchman Kevin Mayer currently holds the record of 9,126 points, which he set in 2018. Warner has scored 9,018 points in Tokyo.
“This is something that we are working very hard on,” Warner said.
“As time goes by and you reach certain goals you adapt and change them and you always try to be better and see what you can improve on and see where you can play the sport. “
Written by Philip Drost. Produced by Inès Colabrese.