OLDS — Former Olds wrestler Danielle Lappage has a strategy for preparing for the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo while the COVD-19 pandemic rages on.
Lappage, 30, qualified for the Olympics just over a year ago. She won gold in the final of an Olympic qualifying match in Ottawa after her opponent forfeited, due to injury.
“I am keeping sharp through a regular training/practice schedule — wrestling, weights, cardio; also through regular therapy including physio, massage, chiro, osteo, and sports psychology,” she wrote in an email.
Some tournaments are scheduled for May and June. If they proceed, Lappage plans to attend them in preparation for Tokyo.
Despite the fact that some have called for the Olympics to be postponed or cancelled, Lappage is confident they’ll go ahead, despite the fact the pandemic is still going on across the world.
The Tokyo Olympics were supposed to be held last summer, but were postponed, due to the pandemic. Currently, the Summer Olympics are slated to occur July 23 - Aug. 8 this year.
“I am confident that the COC (Canadian Olympic Committee) and IOC (International Olympic Committee) will do everything in their power to keep us safe,” Lappage wrote.
“Because of that, I am confident (in) attending and confident I will be able to stay safe and healthy while there.”
However, she’s disappointed that fans will not be allowed to attend and cheer on athletes.
“The fans part is particularly sad because I won’t be able to experience the Olympic atmosphere with my loved ones,” Lappage wrote. “However, that won’t influence my performance. It will be like any other wrestling competition.
“I truly love the sport of wrestling and so being able to train has been a blessing. Keeping in contact with my friends and family has also helped keep me happy and optimistic.”
Lappage is just finishing law school at the University of Calgary. Focusing on that effort has helped get her through the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, tournaments and the Olympics. When contacted, she just had one final left.
“I am focused on training to be the best prepared I can be, come August. That’s all I can do. And I am also trying to enjoy this ride, because I know my competitive days are coming to a close,” she added.