Reigning champion and twice tennis gold medallist Andy Murray says an Olympics amid the Covid-19 pandemic is extra related than ever, and that the Tokyo Games can present hope for many who have suffered over the last 18 months.
The 2020 Games, postponed from final yr, begin in earnest with Friday’s Opening Ceremony, and contributors are set to compete at empty venues to minimise the danger of infections.
“The Games are the biggest competition in the world and as athletes we train hard for moments like this,” Murray stated in feedback emailed to Reuters.
“Tokyo 2020 in 2021 is exclusive, falling through the pandemic and we’ve seen unimaginable resilience from athletes, followers and all these concerned in making this occur.
“In so many ways, right now it’s more important than ever that people around the world get to reconnect to the raw emotion of sport, watch incredible performances and celebrate the achievement of athletes coming from around the world.”
The 34-year-old Murray has been working his approach again to full health following hip-resurfacing surgical procedure in 2019.
He is worked up on the prospect of defending his Olympics title for a second time having gained males’s singles gold at London 2012 and once more in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“Leading Team GB at the Opening Ceremony in Rio was one of the highlights of my career, and winning in 2012 on home ground was an incredible moment,” he stated.
“Overcoming obstacles and difficulties is what defines competing at this stage, the ups and the downs.
“For those that are still experiencing the worst of the pandemic and others that have lost so much over the last year, this Games can be a beacon of hope.”
Tokyo will probably be Murray’s fourth Games, and the Scot just isn’t giving up hope of including to his medals, which additionally embody a combined doubles silver from London.
“My goal is to try and win a medal. Ideally a gold one for my country,” he stated.
“I know first-hand the impact that playing sport for a career has on your body. I know how difficult and frustrating that journey can be. I know the heartbreak of missing a major tournament and the journey of recovery.”
Swiss Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal are amongst a bunch of huge names in tennis who’ve skipped the Tokyo Games, which is being held underneath strict well being protocols to curb the unfold of the virus.
“There are many athletes for whom 2020 should have been a crowning achievement, who will now not even make the rescheduled Games this summer. I truly feel for them,” Murray added.
“It’s no secret how much the fans support means to me and I have great sympathy for the crowds who won’t be able to be there in person.”
Olympic and Japanese officers have continued with the Games regardless of opposition from the residents within the nation to internet hosting greater than 11,000 athletes, workers and media.
Murray stated it was troublesome to depend the advantages of publicity to sport on the highest stage.
“It supports mental health. It encourages increased physical activity. It exposes us to other cultures and peoples. It brings us together,” he stated. “Sport isn’t only a basic human proper – it is without doubt one of the most impactful instruments to heal and strengthen our society.
“An incredible amount of work has gone into ensuring the safety of everyone involved with the Games. It’s going to be amazing to be playing in Tokyo and my own experiences are why I think the Games have never been more relevant.”