Tunisian Olympic medalist Ines Boubakri expressed support for the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, saying it is in the best interest of all those taking part.
“Honestly, I think it's the right decision of the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Olympic Games to 2021. It's for the safety of for everyone, for the athletes, for the supporters (and) the volunteers,” she told Inspire Middle East.
Despite the event’s delay, Boubakri remains focused in achieving her objective: snatching a second medal at the Olympic Games.
“Yes, the date has changed. But for me, the goal remains the same,it’s my dream (…) and I will be focused like more than a hundred percent. That's why in the last few days I never stop training,” she emphasized.
Physical exercises are key
At home, Boubakri has found ways to keep her training in check with physical exercises, but laments not being able to fully train on the fencing strip with other competitors.
“I think for me it's more specific because in fencing we need to fence a lot with people and we need to practice to work the precision, to work with technique. And that's why I think that what I will miss the most.”
Take some time to rest
The Tunisian highlights that one of the biggest challenges is staying mentally strong amidst the pandemic.
Away from her family, she battles the uncertainties of the pandemic by focusing on appreciating all the things she wasn’t able to do before, due to her tight schedule of competitions.
“I watch a lot of series and cook and read a lot of books also. But it's a nice feeling, this peaceful moment that we don't have to rush and to go to the airport and book the flights, book the hotels and to making the visa to travel.”
Train, but have fun
Boubakri stands in solidarity with fellow sports lovers who are confined to their home and are unable to practice.
“Never give up, never stop to do fencing, to do sports,” she advised.
The fencer encourages people to have a more optimistic attitude during lockdown and believes the mental challenges that comes with social isolation can be overcome.
“You can practice, you can do sports to keep your health. Also, you can do a lot of exercise with your kids if you have kids, with your husband, with your mum, with your sisters and brothers. So try to make it fun. With this optimist behavior we can fight and we can win this virus and everything will be OK,” she said.