U.S. water polo's Alex Obert says IOC made right decision to postpone Olympics

His wife is in a medical residence in Tucson, so American water polo player Alex Obert has taken a look at the preventive measures taken to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

The IOC’s decision to postpone the Tokyo Games on Tuesday left him struggling with emotions.

“The health and well-being of everyone in the world is the most important thing, but if you become so focused on one thing as an athlete, it is difficult if these things change,” said Obert in a telephone interview. “It’s just a shock now. I think it was clearly the right decision.”

Obert, 28, played in the 2016 Olympics, where the American men finished 10th. He played professionally in Greece last year, but does not expect to return there soon. He said he was looking forward to finishing his career at the Tokyo Games.

“I am the second oldest man on the team and I had more or less planned that this would be my last Olympics and move on,” he said. “I have a beautiful woman who is ready to come home and not go to Europe all year, so it pushes everything back a year.”

The US men’s team had qualified for the Tokyo Games by winning the gold medal at last summer’s Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. The selection for the Olympics was not established.

“It was more,” We’ve reached that goal, we’re going as a team and now it’s a bit of figuring out who the 12 guys are allowed to go, “said Obert, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound center that played at the University of Pacific. “And that was all we were concerned about.”

The postponement of the Games forces all athletes to make adjustments.

“It’s a little bit different for athletes in water polo and sports like this, where we really put our lives on hold as we complete this dream,” said Obert. “Some of the bigger sports, some of the swimmers, some of the athletic athletes, I mean that’s their career and they’re making money for the rest of their lives, where it’s really for us, ‘OK, I’m going to pause my life. ”It takes a lot of sacrifice from you and your loved ones and everyone around you to support you.

Obviously it’s overturning everyone’s plans, but we’re all resilient people. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t be where we are now, so I’m not worried we’ll find out and be successful . “

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