Editor’s note: the following is a message from Napanee’s Britt Benn, member of Team Canada’s National Women’s Rugby Sevens Team, which had qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Last week the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced it has suspended the 2020 games until 2021 as the world attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
During this difficult time I wanted to take a minute and reach out to my community. As everyone knows the Olympics have been postponed another year; my heart is broken but I respect this decision. The world is collectively mourning and we all need to take the the necessary time to process everything that is going on around us.
Our season has been officially cancelled and all athletes competing for the National Women’s Rugby Sevens Olympic Team have been decentralized; meaning we are no longer training as a centralized program in Victoria, BC. After much consideration I have made the decision to come home to Napanee, Ontario to be close to my family, my friends and this community that I love. Plans and dreams have been put on hold for so many people globally, and I too had new career aspirations on the horizon which I will have to examine in the coming months. The decision to commit to the 2021 Olympics Games will take reflection time and ongoing conversations.
I know that Canadian athletes will rise to the occasion for the future Olympic games; it is what we love and we know the impact sport has on bringing communities and people together. The priority today is to concentrate on our collective health and well being and take the necessary steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
As always I am thankful for the continuous support from my family, friends and my hometown. I am also thankful for the front line workers and all essential employees out there keeping our communities running during this difficult and uncertain time.
Stay healthy and wash your hands.