Arizona State University head coach Bob Bowman has already been vocal about how he feels about postponing the 2020 Olympic Games. “It would take a lot of pressure off,” he told the Associated Press earlier this week.
But as swimmers and coaches scramble to find training space with both the US Olympic Trials and the 2020 Games in Tokyo still scheduled to run on time, Bowman has managed to have his small group of professionals train once per day at ASU’s Mona Plummer Aquatic Center.
“We’re giving up a few practices, but we felt it was best to minimize how many times they go,” Bowman told the Arizona Republic, as typically leading up the Olympics the athletes would have doubles three days a week.
Schmitt has trained under Bowman for the majority of her career — other than when she went to college at the University of Georgia — which included taking a redshirt in the lead-up to the 2012 Games in London where she went on to win three gold and five total medals, including an individual title in the women’s 200 free.
Flickinger, also a former Bulldog, only recently made the move to train with Bowman at ASU after last summer’s World Championships. The 25-year-old was the silver medalist at the 2019 World Championships in the women’s 200 fly, and is the fastest swimmer in the world in the event since the beginning of 2019.
On the other end of the spectrum are Bowman’s college swimmers at ASU, who aren’t allowed to train due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions from both the university and the Pac-12. The team has a total of 17 athletes qualified for the US Trials, scheduled to run June 21-28 in Omaha.
“It’s very testing when it comes to your adaptability as an athlete,” said Sun Devil senior and 2016 Olympian Cierra Runge. “You have a routine, you know what you need to do. To not have that is very boring, not having training five hours a day. It’s not comfortable.
“I’ll have that urge to do something and it’s like OK what can I do to keep myself entertained and in shape and in the running for the Games if they have them. You’ve got to keep everything going while having very limited resources.”