Understanding the Effects of the Pandemic on Athletes

The pandemic has disrupted everyone’s lives. The world initially disregarded the news of a coronavirus strain breaking out in China. Now, everyone else’s country is inflicted terribly with the aforementioned virus.

To date, two hundred nineteen countries and territories out of two hundred forty-nine are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, it has resulted in three million deaths. While the number of deaths pales compared to the 1918 pandemic casualties (with almost fifty million deaths), it is still an atrocious number relative to the medical advancements we have today.

Everyone’s daily activities have been either halted or cancelled. Many companies have closed down their office doors and shifted to working from home setup. While the nature of the virus is not fully uncovered, one thing we know is that COVID-19 quickly transfers from person to person.

To the dismay of many engaged hopefuls, most of the large weddings were cancelled and postponed to different dates. Any outside activity is either pushed back or cancelled altogether. Since many of these gatherings involve getting up close and personal with other people, any assembly or congregation was discouraged or prohibited under penalty.

Almost all physical sporting events were postponed. The biggest sporting event, the Olympics, was postponed to another year, 2021 instead of 2020, because of the pandemic. North Korea is even backing out of the event due to Coronavirus fears. Unfortunately, this has been the trend for most countries involved in international sporting events. The most people got was online sporting events like e-sports events.

How did the pandemic affect the global athletic scene in the long term?

The Halt of Conditioning for Athletes

Athletes have been conditioning themselves for the entirety of their recent years to participate in prestigious sporting events. The training to compete in a large sports event can take years. According to a Forbes article, most Olympic athletes train for 4 to 8 years at a time to be able to make the roster in an Olympic team.

It is also worth mentioning that this training also includes competing in accredit Olympic events to qualify for the Main Olympic event. Only the cream of the crop can get the honour of competing in the main event, so you can imagine how gruesome the training can be for those vying for a spot in their team.

The pandemic severely halted the conditioning these athletes do for their training. Most of the athletes’ training involves other people and the outdoors. Interacting with others and going outdoors are two of the prohibited activities governments mandated amidst the pandemic. Activities like going to the gym and conditioning were severely halted. The conditioning of world-class athletes was either hampered or halted altogether.

resting after workout

Sponsorships Lost

Because of the health crisis, millions of dollars’ worth in sponsorships were stretched and cancelled to the detriment of athletes. Most sportswear companies had to stretch their budget and tighten their purses against no-name athletes because of low returns. Since, technically, there were fewer and fewer spectators going out to spectate and be entertained by sports competitions, there was less room for advertisements and sponsorships to operate.

Bubble Holding of Events

Famous sporting events were held in a bubble set up to minimize the transmission of the disease. The National Basketball Association, or the NBA, opted to hold the play-offs of the prestigious tournament in a bubble setup. A bubble setup is where all the athletes and all the teams’ staff were insulated against the outside world and locked down with only themselves inside. It prevented people outside from infecting any person trapped inside the bubble.

While the bubble was a success for the league, the lack of social interaction during the entire ordeal placed athletes in such a depressing state. These events were not meant to be placed inside a bubble. These events were not meant to be insulated from spectators.

Increased Depression Among Athletes

There are reports of increased depression among athletes during the pandemic. While no one is spared from the anxiety and uncertainty the lockdowns caused on the general populace, athletes have been especially affected by it. Like actors losing a tooth before a performance, the pandemic caused athletes to lose ground before the big tournaments.

Unfortunately for these athletes, while the actors can get tooth implants to remedy their issue, athletes are completely hamstrung and disabled by the pandemic. Keep in mind that while the pandemic is still raging on, age requirements are still in place for tournament eligibilities. Some of these athletes are missing the chance of a lifetime. It bears no wonder that the rate of athletes becoming depressed increased over the pandemic.

While everyone is affected by the pandemic, athletes are hurting especially. With the way of living taken away from them, this crisis has changed the entire landscape of how athletes can conduct their daily activities.

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