Grant Hackett Says Tokyo 2021 Will Provide Inspiration to The World Just When It Needs It

UP FRONT:Dual Olympic champion Grant Hackett said “Postponing the Games was the only solution,” Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia.

Australian Olympic legend Grant Hackett says Tokyo 2021 will be just the inspiration the world will need in 12 months time after the IOC confirmed the Games of the XXXII Olympiad would be postponed till next year.

The two-time 1500m freestyle gold medallist from 2000 and 2004, produced two of the most inspiring Olympic victories in a celebrated career.

“Postponing the Games was the only solution,” Hackett told Channel 9’s Today Show.

“Our lives have been up-turned given Coronavirus and I think as an athlete you can fully appreciate the concern out in the community right now…no one could train, no one could prepare for the Olympics, there’s a whole qualification process and then there’s the Olympics themselves.

“So having an event in a year’s time is the inspiration the world will need at that point…where we will see the best performances in the world it would be perfect timing and (really something to look forward to.)”


TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED: Grant Hackett after his silver medal swim in Beijing. Photo Supplied

Hackett’s 2012 London team mate Tommaso D’Orsogna, now a WA Swimming Board Member has written a letter to his WA Olympic aspirants which has been picked up by his fellow Dolphins.

“You face a new challenge now, on an unprecedented scale,” wrote D’Orsogna.

“ Extraordinary challenges can produce extraordinary results, but they require extraordinary strength and determination.

“Those that face this challenge with optimism, with innovation and creativity, will come out stronger than any single season of training could possibly make them.

“Some will falter and give up, they will blame the situation, but success was never meant for them.

“Others will thrive, they will grow and steel themselves. To them, this is not a challenge, but an opportunity to prove themselves, to show they have what it takes to succeed – To be the best.

“So, who will you be? The choice is yours and yours alone. Keep training, keep improving, keep pushing. Keep going.

“I’ll end with a quote from one of my favourite authors, Ernest Hemingway, in his book, ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’;

“Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.”

WC19 WOM 4x2 medals

BITE SIZED: Australia’s triumphant 4x200m freestyle relay team from 20-19 Worlds (L-R) Brianna Throssell, Ariarne Titmus, Emma McKeon, Madison Wilson. Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Meanwhile Queensland born-and-bred World Championship gold and silver medallist and Rio Olympian Madison Wilson, has been training in Adelaide and now faces a 22-hour drive as she heads back to her family in Brisbane.

It has been the craziest 24 hours. For now we will put a pause on the dream and represent our country the best we can by staying home,” wrote Wilson.

“The health of everyone around us is so important and in times like these it’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves but then we realise the bigger picture, it’s a time to come together and get through this the best we can.

“Today I will begin a 22 hour drive to be home with my loved ones. Keep smiling everyone, it is tough but we are tougher.”

bronte-campbell-world-championships-2015 (1)

BRONTE WILL BE BACK: “Very hard to process but in the end the right decision for health and safety and as for me in the words of ‘Arnie’ (Arnold Schwarzenegger): “I’ll be back… Olympics 2021.” says Bronte Campbell. Photo Courtesy: Maria Dobysheva.

Rio relay golden girl Bronte Campbell said: “It’s moments like these that stoke the dream and keep it burning. Much love to all athletes around the world who are feeling the collapsing and recalibration of their dreams.

“Very hard to process but in the end the right decision for health and safety and as for me in the words of ‘Arnie’ (Arnold Schwarzenegger): “I’ll be back… Olympics 2021.”

Dual Olympian and Rio relay bronze medallist James Roberts said while it had been a heart-breaking day for many athletes around Australia (and the world) it was important to keep in mind that “tough times never last but tough people do.”

“The world will come out the other side stronger, smarter and hopefully more compassionate. Stay positive. Stay safe,” Roberts wrote on his Instagram..

James roberts

STAY AT HOME JAMES: Olympic bronze medallist will be at home on the Gold Coast. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia.

While WA’s Rio Olympian Blair Evans reflected on “how lucky are we to have the ability to wake up every day and chase our dreams.”

“Saying goodbye to the pool and the dream for a while was tough but what’s going on around us right now, is much tougher, we must do everything in our power to protect our loved ones…stay safe, stay indoors stay healthy,” said Evans.

Aspiring Olympians Minna Atherton, Kaylee McKeown and Matthew Wilson are keeping their dreams alive.

Lapped up my last session for a while today….staring down 2021…ready whenever you are,” wrote Atherton on her Instagram.

“Pressing pause on the dream for a while,” said Wilson…”will be back bigger and stronger.”

While McKeown said:The dream has been put to pause… for now.”

And this from Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers as he walked out of the pool in Adelaide….”Last lap swum for a while…that’s all she wrote.”

MOSCOW FOOTNOTE: From 1980 Moscow Olympics swim team captain Lisa Forrest who reached out to Cate Campbell writing: “So sad for you and your team mates Cate, while not the same, the Moscow Olympians have some idea of what its been like for you to train for a Games under a cloud – we coped because we had to (and because others in the community had much tougher challenges) but we wouldn’t wish it on another. Be Well. May Tokyo 2021 be bigger and better.”