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Effective training, motivation biggest challenges for athletes during COVID-19, IOC survey shows

2020-06-17 14:06:00 Xinhuanet

BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Finding ways to train effectively and keeping themselves motivated are the biggest challenges facing athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey conducted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) showed.

The survey was conducted among more than 4,000 athletes and entourage members from 135 countries and regions. Results showed that 56 percent of the 3,289 athletes that completed the survey found it hard to train effectively with the epidemic prevention and control measures imposed in their respective country or region.

A lack of motivation is the second problem they face, with half of the surveyed athletes struggling to stay focused with sports events postponed or cancelled.

This is supported by the statistics from entourage members, 63 percent of whom cited keeping their athletes motivated as the biggest challenge.

Managing mental health and sporting careers both concerned 32 percent of athletes, followed by nutrition and diet (30 percent).

"It is very hard to train due to many of the restrictions," said one elite athlete from South Africa who took the survey. "Training adds structure to my life, and I feel that the lack of structure without training is negatively affecting my mental health. Everything I'm struggling with is linked together. They can't be viewed as separate."

The IOC has launched a series of webinars to support and inspire athletes.

"I said to myself that this is a big challenge, but I am a marathoner, and the marathon is like life," world marathon icon Eliud Kipchoge shared on a webinar. "We have many courses in the world - flat courses, uphill and downhill - and this period of COVID-19 is like an uphill course, where we need to live in a slow way, in a positive way, in order to finish the race well." Enditem

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