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Fish out of water: How is Moroccan surfer Ramzi Boukhiam training during quarantine?

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By Euronews
Fish out of water: How is Moroccan surfer Ramzi Boukhiam training during quarantine?
Copyright  Photo Courtesy: World Surf League

Set to represent in Morocco in the first ever surfing competition in the Olympic Games, Ramzi Boukhiam is now dealing with the Tokyo 2020 Games’ postponement to 2021.

Whilst finding ways to tackle the hardships of being a surfer under social distancing measures, Boukhiam believes that the mental challenges that comes with isolation can be more troubling than staying in shape.

Traveling has been a major part in Boukhiam’s life as an athlete, especially in his participation at World Surf League events, and adapting to a new routine at home can be difficult.

“To be able to be home, you know,(…) sleep in my own bed for a long time, it’s just a new routine,” he told Inspire Middle East. “I just hope it won't last too long and I'll be able to be back at surfing.”

Training at home: “It is what it is”

Boukhiam is trying to come to terms with the gradual re-adaptation of his training, saying that even a month out of the water can already impact performance.

“You would still feel like out of shape because, surfing is really special.You need to be in the water as much as you can to feel, like, fit for surfing.”

“It's hard, but it is what it is,” he added.

Ramzi Boukhiam speaks to Inspire Middle East via video callEuronews

In the meantime, the Moroccan is focused on what he can do off the beaches in order to stay healthy and as best prepared as he can.

On top of two-hour sessions of body weight training or some boxing exercises, the athlete is also working on his recovery and nutrition.

“I'm actually getting really good nights of sleep and I eat really well,” he told Inspire.

Postponement was the ‘right decision’

Ramzi Boukhiam training in his backyardEuronews

Nevertheless, Boukhiam acknowledges that without the ability to train before the Games, he wouldn’t be in the proper shape and mindset to compete and so the decision to postpone the Games was a fair one.

“With everything that’s happening right now in the world, I don't think any athlete is ready to compete in a contest like the Olympics,” he told Inspire Middle East. “You want to be a hundred percent in your mind and in your body, everything has to be right. So, I think it's a good call to postpone it to next year.”