In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, millions around the world have had to make serious adjustments to their lifestyle just to conform to a new kind of lockdown. Since the outbreak has reached a worldwide level, it's not only forced thousands of businesses to shut down, but big-time events like the Olympics have now been moved. Olympic gold and silver medalist winner Shawn Johnson East told PopCulture.com exclusively that while the decision to postpone is heartbreaking, it's the "right" one amid the ongoing pandemic.
"It was the right decision. There was so much affected," Johnson East explained to PopCulture. "Even if the pandemic was long gone by the time the Olympics came around, so many athletes in their training programs and the Olympic trials have been affected that, it wouldn't have been that fair competition that every athlete wanted."
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the International Olympic Committee decided to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Games as revealed by IOC member, Dick Pound: "On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided. The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know," he said according to USA Today. The expectation is that the Olympics will be moved to 2021, but a date has not been set.
Johnson East admits while the entire situation is devastating, she, along with other elite athletes like herself, completely understand why it had to be moved. "I think everyone understands the situation — we get it, we understand that it needed to be done and they agreed with it," she said before breaking down why this is such a tough thing to accept for someone who has trained their entire life for that one big moment. "But I feel like as an elite athlete, your brain just works mathematically. It's two plus two equals four. The Olympics are on this day at this time, my event is on the second week of the Olympics at 2 PM. I mean, it's what they've known their entire life."
The new mom went on to explain that while the Olympics have been postponed, the pandemic doesn't help one bit. It's just added a lot of confusion for so many, not to mention, a concern over everyone's safety across the U.S. and around the world. "I think it will make these athletes stronger because they're going to have to re-adapt and kind of train on the go, and I think it will hopefully be the celebration that they all deserve."
Like the rest of everyone, Johnson East has been doing her part to help flatten the curve by isolating herself inside her home with husband, Andrew East, and their sweet daughter, Drew East, who are spending some quality family time together as they too try and find new ways to pass the time by. As the Olympic medalist gears up for her first Mother's Day, she's also really excited to have partnered with Hallmark to showcase some of her Mother's Day gift ideas that can all be purchased online. While this may be her first as a mother, she says she has found memories of how cards played a special role in her life growing up with her mom, who Johnson East says "buys literally as many cards as she can — she's obsessed with cards — and she hides them all over ... my room back in the day. And I would just find them throughout the day and do that for my birthday, and then I started doing it for Mother's Day." She says partnering with Hallmark simply felt like a must.