The Tokyo Olympics could offer Teddy Riner a third consecutive Olympic coronation this summer. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which interrupted its preparation for containment measures, these Games will not open on July 24. A decision that the French judoka understands, and that he takes with philosophy. Because the most important thing is to stay healthy. And he will aim for gold in Tokyo, whatever the new calendar.
Teddy Riner, the Games are postponed by a year. What is your first reaction?
Teddy Riner: “It is better to stay alive than to risk your life to go to the Olympic Games. For many athletes like me, this is the most beautiful event, the one that we expect every four years. It must be said that it gives us more time to prepare it. The Games are unique moments for us. But today, the hour is more serious, we must realize that people are dying. You have to organize to save the world, that's all. The urgency is there. You have to stay at home to save the most people and help the medical profession the best. “
Are you worried about the postponement of this event, potentially, in 2021?
T.D: “I am not worried for my part, because that leaves me more time, even I had prepared for this summer. We will have to procrastinate, start again on a new planning. It's still very hot and I don't know yet what I'm going to do. The main thing is to wait for everything to calm down, to eradicate this epidemic, and we will have time to think about planning, the Olympic Games. We are a year old. It will probably be from February that we will have more visibility. I think the important thing is to stay confined, to stay at home. “
What is the goal now for you?
T.D: “The IOC gives us more air to prepare. We take it, we take the time. We will add up at the end. We just have to forget about this epidemic and move on, the more quickly possible. For me, it's gold in Tokyo, no matter if it's 2020 or 2021.“