Staying Focused Without Fanfare

Staying Focused Without Fanfare

Courtesy of WOWSA, Odaiba Marine Park, Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Imagine a close basketball game or volleyball game or wrestling match. Imagine the 100m sprint or a tight 1500m race. Imagine the 400m freestyle relay or the 4x100m relay on the track. The excitement and ambiance of the crowds at the Olympic venues can be deafening, providing a lot of energy and serving as a catalyst for adrenalin rushes in Olympic athletes.

But having no crowds – or very limited crowds – has never been a problem for marathon swimmers. Even with the large crowds that were cheering them on in the stands in Beijing in 2008, or along the shores of the Serpentine in London in 2012, or standing on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, the roar of the crowds had little – or no effect – on the athletes whose experiences physically and mentally were entirely focused on themselves and their competitors around them.

So the lack of crowds at the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay should not impact the race at all. However, the medal ceremonies may be somewhat more impacted. But the Tokyo Olympic Games appear to be going on – and that is great news for the tens of thousands of Olympians and Paralympians who have devoted much of their lives for these moments in time.

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Steven Munatones