Indian women’s hockey team skipper Rani Rampal was disappointed to learn her shot at competing in the Olympics won’t happen this summer.
“We were already in a meeting when chief coach Sjoerd Marijne received the news and broke it to us. Personally, I was very disappointed because the team was in good rhythm as we approached the Tokyo Olympics. ” Rani told PTI.
The International Olympic Committee announced the Games were being pushed back to a “date beyond 2020 but no later than summer 2021” in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
All things considered, Rani knows this was 100% the right decision. She is not feeling bitter or sorry for herself. She is taking a lot of comfort in the fact there is safety in numbers. She knows she is not the only one going through this.
“We are looking at this postponement as a positive move. We will continue working hard and take our game to the next level.” Rani said.
Despite the disruption to preparations, Rani feels the team is in good shape ahead of Tokyo.
“If you see our team’s performance in the past two years in specific, we have grown from strength to strength, challenging every top team in the world.” said Rani.
Speculations about this postponement has run rampant for weeks and many were already bracing for the news, but the magnitude of the announcement still reverberated around the world, India included.
Rani is among the thousands of athletes worldwide with Olympic dreams deferred because of the coronavirus.
It’s a very strange feeling to be coming into summer and not looking at hockey but it’s completely out of everyone’s control.
This is the first time the Olympics have been rescheduled for something other than war. The last time the games were canceled was in 1944 because of WWII.
Rani is not going to dwell on the what-ifs. It’s another year of experience she can put down, another year to work on things.