BECKY DOWNIE: I’ve not done all this work to be a slob at home now! While my body is ready for retirement, my goal is still to compete next year
- The postponement of the Tokyo Games is the best-case scenario for athletes
- In my gut, I knew it was inevitable – all sport is of secondary importance now
- My body is ready for retirement but I still love what I do — it will not be a chore
Becky Downie is one of the seven athletes Sportsmail is following on the road to Tokyo.
The 28-year-old gymnast, who won a silver medal at last year’s World Championships, was planning to retire after this Olympic cycle.
Here, she tells Sportsmail why Tuesday’s decision won’t be holding her back.
Becky Downie has backed the decision to delay the 2020 Tokyo Games by another year
This is the best-case scenario for athletes given how things were.
In my gut, I knew it was inevitable, and I had already decided that as long as the Olympics were not cancelled, I could handle them being postponed.
All sport is of secondary importance at the moment but it is nice to at least know where we stand so we can start making new plans.
I can see that the goal is still there, it’s just the timeline that has shifted. But it is better to have more time than not enough.
Another 16 months is a significant time to stay fit and healthy for, but it’s not impossible. I am an old gymnast anyway, so it’s just one more year.
While it means another year of intense training, Downie is relishing the challenge
My body is definitely ready for retirement but I still love what I do so it will not be a chore for me to stay.
If anything, it is going to be a reason to stay. I am fully prepared for it and I know how to manage my body for another year.
As an athlete, you do whatever it takes to get ready for a Games. You really do push your body to the limits and there will probably be quite a few athletes now whose bodies are on the edge.
For me, if anything, I am looking forward to just taking things a step back now before we push on again.
The main thing is that I owe it to myself to stay fit. I have not done all this work to now just be a slob at home because there will be no coming back from that.
We usually train six to seven hours a day, so trying to replicate that at home is pretty tough, but it will just be a mindset thing.
We have a lot of equipment here to stay fit at the house and I will try and do work-outs together with my sister Ellie. We have got a spin bike, a weighted jacked, dumbbells, floor bars and wobble boards.
Downie says she ‘could handle the Games being postponed’ following coronavirus outbreak
I have already emailed my coach and rejigged my whole programme and I will try to replicate everything as best I can.
It’s hard to plan because we don’t know how long we are going to be home for. But there will be enough time to get our skills back.
I see it like an injury rehab. When you are injured you can’t do your skills and this is no different. You’ve just got to be motivated to do it at home.
As long as I stay fit I know I will be absolutely fine to come back so I am not too concerned.
Our agency were laughing because last Christmas I was saying, ‘This is the last Christmas where I have to be strict’.
Unfortunately, now I am not going to be going wild this year either – but I will just have to wait one more year for that one!
Becky was talking to Sportsmail’s David Coverdale