Updated: Held says that he and the other post grads stopped training at the Yacht Club on Friday when the Olympics were postponed until 2021.
While awaiting word from the IOC about the future of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, many swimmers were forced to look for creative training options, especially after most universities shut down their facilities. For some, like Cody Miller, that meant driving hours to train. For others, like Kierra Smith, that meant training in hotel pools.
For American Olympic relay gold medalist from Rio, Ryan Held that meant taking to a small, two-lane pool at Tuscaloosa Yacht Club with 3 other postgraduate swimmers. The group, was training 2 at a time and without a coach on deck in an attempt to maintain safe social distances while still training. Held says the group stopped training there last Friday when they learned there would be no meets to train for in the near future.
“It’s private so there are no lifeguards, swim at your own risk, but they’ve agreed to lend a helping hand,” Held told The Journal-News in a report published on Monday. “It’s not much, but water is water.
“It’s not like you lose your fitness without being in the water for a few weeks, but you’ll lose the feeling and the tactile awareness of where you are in the water,” he said. “You lose the mental side of it and that’s what people were kind of freaking out about and nervous about.”
In terms of the Olympic Games officially being moved to July, Held said, “It’s kind of a blessing and a curse. It does put life on hold for one more year, but I get to do my passion, my love, for one more year.”
“I’m staying safe and out of the water for now,” Held told SwimSwam on Tuesday of his current training status.