Track and field athletes train in Austin for Summer Deaflympics

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics over, around 30 top athletes are still busy waiting and preparing for their chance to win a medal.

Elite track and field athletes from across the country were recently in Austin to train at the Texas School for the Deaf for the 2021 Summer Deaflympics. The event takes place in Brazil but has been postponed to May 2022. due to issues related to COVID.

United States Deaflympics Athletics Head Coach Larry Smith said: “Since COVID happened a year and a half ago, they have had to run in the streets to train. ‘until recently when things started to open up and we came back to this trail. “

The pandemic has had an effect on qualifiers like Janna Vander Meulen who says: “I thought I was in good shape. I want to keep doing my best. And keep training and doing what I need to do every day to keep building that momentum. “

It’s a boost that all athletes hope to gain in Caxias do Sol, the Brazilian city where the Deaflympics will take place.

While the workouts, which the athletes went through for a week in Austin, pushed them and prepared them for the second longest-running international games behind the Olympics, it can sometimes be more difficult. Many athletes have jobs and are students.

Many athletes have to fundraise to compete on their own, Smith explains, because there is no government sponsorship or support from the United States Olympic Committee.

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