Gillian Ellsay, third from right, with her Rally Cycling teammates in 2018. Photo supplied

Gillian Ellsay, third from right, with her Rally Cycling teammates in 2018. Photo supplied

Elite Comox Valley athletes weigh in on COVID-19

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics have been postponed until next summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.

READ: Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23-Aug. 8 in 2021

For the time being, elite athletes are doing what they can to continue training while social distancing.

“I am staying busy with training, the end of the school semester and reading lots of books for fun,” Comox Valley cyclist Gillian Ellsay said by email. “I am training solo right now and closely following the advice of Public Health officials. The more we all follow that advice, the faster life will get back to normalcy.”

Ellsay had been riding with Rally Cycling, an American-based professional team that competes in the Union Cycliste Internationale. (Her brother Nigel is still with the Rally team). She now races with InstaFund La Prima Racing, a Vancouver-based UCI women’s team.

She feels the postponement of the Games was the best thing the International Olympic Committee could have done.

“It wasn’t fair to the athletes or coaches to still be training while there is a pandemic occurring,” said Ellsay, who attends the University of Victoria. “In addition, although the whole world is grappling with this pandemic, there is a big variance in what stage countries are at. So I don’t think the playing field would have been close to equal for a 2020 Games. Also, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced before the IOC decision they would not send athletes to a 2020 Olympics, which was a pretty bold move. But one that was necessary, in my opinion.”

Black Creek runner Cam Levins — who competed in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the 2012 Olympics, and who broke the Canadian marathon record in 2018 — had been training in Kenya in February and March. He was preparing to compete at the annual Rotterdam Marathon in Holland, but the event has been postponed until October.

“COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation with constantly evolving information,” Levins said in a Facebook post in March. “I am in great shape and would love to run any available race, as I still do need Olympic qualifying standard. However, at the suggestion of my coach, my agent and my governing body, the recommendation is to return home to await future instruction.

“My individual health risk is low, but social distancing is an act of generosity and solidarity for the benefit of others. I support the efforts of all government and athletic leaders who have made the difficult decisions to disrupt the lives of so many to help control the escalation of this disease, and protect our most vulnerable populations.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 160 Comox, B.C. Poppy Chairman, Kent Guilford presenting cheques to the following organizations in support of their venues: (top left) The Sea Cadet Corps who assisted in last year’s Poppy campaign. (Top right) CFB Comox, Military Family Resource Center, Kim Hetherington, executive director MFRC. Bottom, The Views at St Joseph’s, Jessica Aldred, Health Care Foundation, Michael Aikins, senior operations leader. We wish to Thank All those who supported last year’s Poppy Campaign and we hope we will have your continued support this year. Thank you all.
Comox Valley gives back

Spotlight on some of the groups, businesses and individuals who make the Comox Valley great

Union Bay voters chose a new direction Saturday. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Union Bay voters opt for governance change

More than seventy per cent support dissolving UBID to roll services into regional district

A small plane crashed in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

Drift includes the work of poets from around the Comox Valley. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Drift features works by poets from the Comox Valley

Rather than have a set theme, the editors let 38 poets put their best work forward

Rogan is a three-year-old border collie who has an 'incredible bond' between him and a family member. Photo by Erin Haluschak
‘Incredible bond’ credited for dog who assisted in emergency

Three-year-old dog Rogan came to the rescue of a family member who fell

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Most Read