FIVE-RING fever is what five-time Olympian Anthony Edwards calls the feeling when you just want to chase one more Olympic Games.
This is what the veteran Ballarat rower told The Courier when he came out of retirement to chase his fourth Games berth in Beijing 2008. A dual silver medallist in the men's coxless four and with a bronze in his pocket from Atlanta, Edwards was back on the water for London 2012.
A re-scheduled Olympic Games for Tokyo next year will undoubtedly fuel the fever and set a whole new game for athletes across the world.
Moving the Tokyo Games to 2021 will possibly open a second-chance for those who had failed to qualify or were racing to be ready in time and it will allow more time for promising youngsters coming through the ranks.
One more year will mean tough decisions for seasoned athletes who had been planning to retire. Unless you have got the bug like Edwards.
Olympic racewalking gold medallist Jared Tallent has already made clear he is postponing his retirement from the sport for one more Games - his fourth. Ballarat's Tallent had been planning to try and qualify for this year's Games via an international meet in Japan this month.
A fortnight ago Tallent and Ballarat javelin thrower Kathryn Mitchell had been among leading athletes calling for International Olympic Committee to call off Tokyo 2020.
Each claimed the fast-changing conditions uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic as unfair to the health and well-being of all athletes - let alone unfairness in access to training facilities and equipment to chase the Olympic Dream.
Athletes worldwide have time to take a break, re-assess and get ready to start their next season whenever this may be.
Tallent has told media there is no way he could stop now. One more year. One more Games.
He is also driven by seeking redemption. Tallent was awarded Olympic gold in the men's 50-kilometre walk for London 2012 four years later in an upgrade after his Russian rival was found a drug cheat. As defending champion in Rio, Tallent was overtaken on the final lap and claimed silver.
Tallent wants to cross that line first.
Middle-distance runner Stewart McSweyn, a former Ballarat Clarendon College boarder, was flying last summer. McSweyn broke the Australian 10,000m record in December for an automatic spot in Tokyo . He also clocked qualifying times for the 1500m and 5000m. He needs to re-build that form now.
The pandemic is a true test of character for people the world over. There is no-denying global health is most important right now.
There is no certainty how and when athletes will be able to resume their full training or even have access to qualify in their chosen events next year.
Tokyo 2021 offers a glimmer of hope.
Look to the likes of Olympic BMX racer Caroline Buchanan on social media for a glimpse into her work from home in isolation. This is determination, preparedness and focus - as she says, a choice to seize opportunity in adversity.
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