09:00AM, Thursday 03 December 2020
Jack Beaumont (right)
Having been in training since last December, Maidenhead rower Jack Beaumont was relishing the chance to compete on the world stage once again at this summer’s Olympics.
Those plans, however, were capsized when it was confirmed that the Tokyo 2020 games would not go ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After it was announced that the games would be postponed to next year, Beaumont was forced to test his mental and physical strength by preparing for the games at home.
His training schedule was also halted for a month when he contracted COVID-19 in March, leaving him fearful of the long term impact the virus might have on his health and rowing performance.
“I caught it at the end of March. I didn’t train for a whole month,” he said.
“Then I started to very carefully and slowly build back into a training program.”
“I was quite cautious because everything we were seeing in the news at the time was people getting scarring in their lungs or potential damage to the heart. Of course as a rower, they’re very important organs.
“I worked with my doctor and very slowly started training again. I was lucky to get close to my best fitness within a few months.”
“I’m training consistently and staying healthy so I can get closer to that goal of an Olympic gold medal,” said Beaumont.
“It was quite a big disappointment to hear [the games being postponed] because it’s something we’ve trained so hard for and something we’re very excited about.
“We had a very tough winter of selection trials and it was actually the day we finished our selection we were told our training centre had to close.
“All of our training this year has had to be done at home in the shed or on the bike. I was training around four or five hours a day just on my own for months.
“It’s been difficult but I really have to keep giving the best performances I can.”
“Once the first lockdown restrictions started to lift a little bit and recreational rowing started to be allowed I thought it would be really nice to go for a scull in Maidenhead,” added Beaumont.
“I really loved going back to where I first learnt to row. It’s the place I fell in love with the sport in the first place. For me that was really important, because it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to row there and I really enjoyed it.”
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