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Duanesburg's Gwiazdowski, White still in Olympic holding pattern in coronavirus shutdown

Duanesburg's Gwiazdowski, White still in Olympic holding pattern in coronavirus shutdown

Despite USA Today report of postponement of 2020 Tokyo Games, two athletes from Duanesburg waiting for official word
Duanesburg's Gwiazdowski, White still in Olympic holding pattern in coronavirus shutdown
Emma White of Duanesburg is training for the Olympics in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

A USA Today report claiming that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be postponed, likely to 2021, hasn't changed how two Olympic hopefuls from Duanesburg are approaching their day-to-day routines.

Men's freestyle wrestler Nick Gwiazdowski and women's track cyclist Emma White are aware of the story, as well as the high probability that the Games won't happen as scheduled July 24-Aug. 9, of course.

But until they hear it as an official declaration by the International Olympic Committee or the United States Olympic Committee as a member nation declining to compete, it's business as usual.

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The 27-year-old Gwiazdowski, a two-time heavyweight NCAA champion while at North Carolina State, is training in Raleigh, North Carolina, for U.S. Olympic Trials he expects to be postponed, and the 22-year-old White, a gold medalist in team pursuit at the recent UCI World Championships in Berlin (and pretty much a lock to make Team USA), is at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

"I haven't heard from anyone more than that [USA Today report]," Gwiazdowski said Monday afternoon. "The headline makes it sound like it's going to happen, but who knows if it's official. I'll see what happens when the official decision comes down, then go from there."

Christine Brennan of USA Today quotes veteran IOC member Dick Pound saying that "postponement has been decided" and that the IOC is working on the vast details that will come with such a move.

IOC President Thomas Bach had announced on Sunday that the organization would use the next four weeks to decide how to proceed with the Tokyo Games.

The USA Today report also quotes IOC spokesperson Mark Adams responding to Pound's remarks: "It is the right of every IOC member to interpret the decision of the IOC executive board which was announced yesterday."

"I'm sure she's getting a lot of [internet] clicks right now," Gwiazdowski said. "It sounds like things [regarding the COVID-19 pandemic] are going to get worse, not better, which is kind of what everyone expected."

This weekend, the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees said that they won't compete in the Games unless they are postponed, and Australia hinted at the same, saying it wouldn't be able to put together a team properly under current circumstances.

"I think when you start to see more countries pull out, then they'll have to postpone it," Gwiazdowski said. "Either way, those countries didn't make decisions on a whim."

"I'm in the same boat as Nick ... I can't comment on it until the IOC announces their final decision officially," White said in a text message.

Another athlete with Capital Region ties, former UAlbany track star Grace Claxton, is looking forward to competing in the Games for the Puerto Rico national team in the 400-meter hurdles. She reached the semifinals in that event at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Reach Mike MacAdam at 518-395-3146 or [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @Mike_MacAdam.

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