Cloverdale’s Holly Speers (left) and former White Rock Renegade stars Danielle Lawrie (centre) and Sara Groenewegen will have to put their Olympic dreams on hold until 2021, as the 2020 Summer Olympics are expected to be postponed. (Daniel Lea/Cal Sport Media photos)

Cloverdale’s Holly Speers (left) and former White Rock Renegade stars Danielle Lawrie (centre) and Sara Groenewegen will have to put their Olympic dreams on hold until 2021, as the 2020 Summer Olympics are expected to be postponed. (Daniel Lea/Cal Sport Media photos)

White Rock/South Surrey softball players stay positive amid likely Olympic postponement

‘We’ve waited 12 years for this, we can wait 1 more,’ says former White Rock Renegade

The 2020 Summer Olympics have been postponed until 2021, less than 48 hours after the Canadian Olympic Committee announced it was pulling its athletes from potential competition this summer and demanding the event be pushed back.

“While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community,” the COC said in a statement Sunday.

“This is not solely about athlete health — it is about public health. With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games.”

And while it’s no doubt a crushing blow – if not a totally unexpected one – for the those who would have been Tokyo-bound this summer, the general consensus from athletes with local ties is that is the right decision, with a number of players from Canada’s women’s fastpitch team taking to social media immediately after the announcement to voice their support for the COC decision, which in turn helped lead to the IOC’s announcement Tuesday morning.

“There’s a lot going on in the world right now… we have obviously taken a very strong stance as a country. I’m super proud to be from where I’m from, and super proud of our Olympic committee for doing what’s best for the overall health of athletes, support staff and everyone involved,” Team Canada softball veteran Jenn Salling said on Instagram.

The postponement is especially tough for members of the fastpitch team, specifically, considering the sport has been off the Olympic docket since 2008, and has already been knocked from the schedule for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

“I am unsure how to feel right now. So many things are transpiring so quickly around the word that it almost doesn’t feel like reality,” wrote Team Canada pitcher, and former White Rock Renegade star, Sara Groenewegen in an Instagram post.

“Some athletes, like myself, have worked our entire lives for this year, this one moment in our careers. Us softball athletes haven’t had the opportunity to ‘get another chance’ in another four years as our sport was removed from the Olympic stage in 2008.”

Groenewegen added that she hopes everyone continues to be vigilant in helping curtail the spread of the virus.

“We must remain hopeful and continue to control what we can control, which is our daily actions against the spread of this virus… We are all in this together.”

For a handful of the team’s veterans, this summer may also have been their last with the national program, as they instead move to other phases of their lives with no Olympic softball available again until 2028 at the earliest.

Until recently, the Canadian softball team – which also includes former White Rock Renegade pitcher Danielle Lawrie-Locke and Cloverdale’s Holly Speers – had been training as group in Halifax. In light of the current pandemic, however, players have recently returned to their respective homes across Canada and the U.S.

The announcement came as no surprise to Lawrie-Locke, who noted in an online video Sunday – prior to the IOC’s official postponement – that “we all know with the way the world is, there isn’t going to be an Olympics in July.”

The 2020 Games were originally scheduled to run from July 24-Aug. 9.

“I don’t want to be in Tokyo right now… right now, I’m pretty much quarantined in my house,” continued Lawrie-Locke, who lives in the Seattle area.

And though a postponement is not ideal – under normal circumstances, anyway – Salling and Groenewegen both added that they plan to just keep moving forward until they eventually get to play.

“The Olympics are not cancelled… we will continue to train and do everything we’ve been doing,” Salling said. “Thank you everyone for your thoughts – we’ll just keep on, keeping on.”

In a message on Twitter Monday, Groenewegen wrote, “We’ve waited 12 years for this, we can wait 1 more…”



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusOlympicsSoftballTokyo 2020 Summer Olympics

Just Posted

Ian MacDonald, spokesman for Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Police Service launches public consultation campaign

This is to help the SPS form its first strategic plan

Outdoor vendors at the Cloverdale Flea Market are seen in this bird’s eye view image from the flea market’s Facebook page.
Cloverdale Flea Market to reopen

Market to open June 20 after being closed since Nov. 2020

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
Surrey RCMP looking for missing boy, age 13

Steven Vail was last seen at 8 a.m. after arriving at Frank Hurt Secondary but did not show up for his 8:30 a.m. class.

teaser photo only.
Surrey ‘POP!’ series promises ‘Performances Outdoors in Parks’ this summer

Ticketed concerts, theatre shows and other events start July 9

Surrey council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council endorses ‘public engagement’ strategy

Council approves ‘Public Engagement Strategy and Toolkit,’ and a ‘Big Vision, Bold Moves’ transportation public engagement plan

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus students Ethan Reid, from left, Brenden Higgins, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink with RCMP officers Const. Nicoll and Const. Stancec. (Photo submitted)
RCMP thank 6 teens for helping prevent forest fire in Williams Lake

The students came across fire in a wooded area and used the water they had to try and extinguish the flames

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A 34-year-old man was arrested Monday after Transit Police found him riding a SkyTrain with a shotgun in the front of his sweatpants. (Transit Police)
SkyTrain passenger arrested, charged for concealing shotgun in his sweatpants

Codty-James Gray, 34, was found with ammunition, brass knuckles and knives

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

Most Read