German canoe slalom paddler Ricarda Funk speaks she trusts that the long-term belongings of coronavirus should be anxiety for all athletes. Funk, who has already qualified for the rearranged Tokyo Olympic Games, supposed that although athletes are used to protecting themselves and staying healthy, the coronavirus has presented new challenges in this regard.

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Speaking as part of the International Canoe Federation’s series of podcasts How Sports Stars Cope in COVID-19 lockdown, Funk described coronavirus as scary. If you get it, maybe there is a remaining impact, I don’t know. So yes, I am a little bit scared, but I just try to stick to the rules, and I think if you keep this in mind we should be safe. We never really know, you could be infected and you don’t know.

“Of course it is a little bit frightening because it’s new, and we don’t know yet the influence on athletes,” Funk supposed.

Funk, who has won five World Championship medals counting one gold as well as two general World Cup titles in the K1 class, was on her way to Australia to make for the Olympics as the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold around the world.

“I was expecting it somehow, it was the right decision and I’m fine with this because the health of the public is much more important than the Olympic 2020 Games,” Funk supposed.

But we all have to get through this, and I think we will find a good way. It’s crazy because in 2016 my selections were awful. I was in good form, but I just couldn’t bring it down. I trained hard since 2016, after failing, I had this goal in my head and I wanted to go there, and then I finally made it, and now for the first time in history, this has happened.

“Verfuerth, who has been locked down in Arizona for several months, said she had experienced a rollercoaster of emotions during the pandemic.”

Funk was joined on the podcast by Kaitlyn Verfuerth, who has represented the United States in tennis at three Paralympic Games and is now attempting to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics in the sport of para canoe.

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“It’s very unclear, some days you feel good, and some days you ask by hand why do you even want to get out of bed,” Verfuerth supposed.

I keep trying to find things to motivate me, and staying fit is one of them.  Back in March, I was in a lull when everyone was still debating if some of our activities and competitions were still going to happen. I felt really in this limbo, do I continue to train, am I supposed to train because I’m not supposed to be around anybody, what’s the point of training if I’m not going to compete.

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