Swimmer Haley Anderson glad Olympics are postponed for athlete safety

Rather than counting down the days to the Tokyo Olympics, Haley Anderson is at home in Santa Monica to create puzzles, catch up on Netflix shows, and adapt to a custom training schedule.

This is not what the USC graduate expected.

Last July, Anderson and fellow open water swimmer Ashley Twichell became the first U.S. athletes to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics after Anderson finished second and Twichell finished eighth in the 10K at the FINA World Championships in South Korea.

Those Olympic plans were interrupted on Tuesday with the postponement of the Games until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Because everything escalated so quickly, I hoped it would be delayed,” said Anderson, who won a silver medal in the 10K at the London Games in 2012. “But so much goes to the Olympics and sometimes the athletes can “Even though they say it’s all about the athletes. Athlete safety and things like that aren’t always at the forefront of people’s minds. It’s nice that this is a deal now.”

Anderson and several other swimmers were preparing for the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado last week when they were sent home after the facility was closed abruptly due to the pandemic.

“It was the main topic of conversation,” said Anderson. “It wasn’t until we were sent home that it was real. … There’s a lot going on in the world all the time, but sport is never really affected. I never had to worry about my matches. It’s weird I have to redesign my perspective now. “

Meanwhile, Anderson is moving forward. She recently found an open pool – not an easy feat with so many closings – and had regular training. Otherwise, she will swim in the ocean, exercise at home, and struggle with the same questions as everyone else.

“I don’t know how long this will take,” said Anderson.

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