Nigerian sprinter, Seye Ogunlewe, on Tuesday challenged athletes to look beyond COVID-19 and explore ways to be better after the pandemic.
Ogunlewe, a guest on Channels Television’s Sports This Morning, believes this is the time for athletes to rediscover themselves, make the best out of this period and stay safe.
He said, “When it first started, it was a bit sad but some of us need to understand that the guys in the frontline come first.
“People’s lives are at stake, so we cannot be selfish in this situation by going out when we shouldn’t.”
“We must consider those people working to keep us safe. We should find things to keep us active like reading books, taking a walk and learning new things.”
Danger Of Getting Infected
On the issue of sportsmen and women struggling with the lockdown, particularly not being able to train and keep fit, the three-time national champion advised that it was important to stay alive and contribute in stopping the spread of the virus.
He stated, “The coronavirus is not ignoring a sportsman, a doctor, nurse or farmer. No! The coronavirus doesn’t care.
“Everyone is in danger of getting the virus so we just have to keep safe, abide by the rules set out by the government.
“To be honest, it won’t rain forever; one day the sun will shine. So, we just have to prepare for the time we will return to our normal lives,” the athlete added.
Global leading scientists, doctors and health experts are of the opinion that next year’s Olympics is unrealistic if a vaccine is not discovered.
Will athletes be comfortable to feature at the Tokyo Olympics if a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus is not available?
In his response, Ogunlewe said, ”If there is no vaccine by next year, I see it very difficult for people.
“I saw a lady on the news saying if there is no vaccine, she might not even leave to go to work because no one knows who has the virus and not certain who you’ll make contact with, and then you’re coming back home to your family.”
He added, “We have to wait and see if the vaccine comes, we hear it will take 18 months or thereabout. Every athlete wants to feature at the Olympics but we must understand the times and stay safe”.
Inspiring The Next Generation
The three-time national champion is yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and despite the postponement and the Diamond leagues called off, he is still maintaining a positive mindset.
According to him, everyone had a goal this season and that is to be at the Olympics or a major championship.
The athlete noted that although things have happened, the objective towards the goal should not change.
“As an athlete, mine is to be the best I can be. That requires a lot of hard work and I do as much as I can, keeping fit and maintaining the objective that will push me towards that goal,” he said.
He added, ”I want to be the best. I don’t want to go to championships and make the finals, I want to win and inspire the next generation.”
On the adopt an athlete campaign and the future of athletics in Nigeria, Ogunlewe thanked the ministry for the initiative which he described as a good support system for the athletes.
“It is a blessing for us athletes and it will motivate us to do better. Hopefully, everyone can get adopted and put it to good use in achieving individual goals,” he concluded.