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UAE cyclist Yousif Mirza shifts from track to ‘online cycling' during pandemic

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By Euronews
UAE cyclist Yousif Mirza shifts from track to ‘online cycling' during pandemic
Copyright  Courtesy: UAE Team Emirates

The cancellation of sport events due to the novel coronavirus pandemic has affected many athletes worldwide.

However, cyclists are still able to practice and exercise indoors, in an adapted bike.

UAE athlete Yousif Mirza considers himself fortunate to be a cyclist and be able to train at home, almost achieving the full benefits of a regular training.

“Our sport, it’s different than other sports. So, we are (still) cycling maybe two to three hours every day, plus, the gym training also,” he explains.

His sessions have shifted from cycling with his teammates to online coaching sessions, which he says allows him to continue to pursue his goals.

Yousif Mirza speaks to Inspire Middle East via video callEuronews

Despite constant training, isolation still affects the mind

Nevertheless, Mirza recognizes that he feels the impact of social isolation is heavier on the mind than on the body.

“The mental side is hard, very hard,” he said. “We are all inside and need to keep the mind strong and motivated.”

Now with less travel, Mirza is attempting to battle the uncertainties of the virus by focusing on what’s important to him, such as his family.

Despite training daily, the Emirati is counting the days to be able to compete again and says the feeling is shared amongst other cyclists.

“We are looking forward to the upcoming events next season, we are very excited to be racing again each other. So, I hope everything goes back to normal and we are back on races,” he told Inspire.