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Postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics could present financial challenges for Olympic athletes

"I’m more on a bonus contract. So, if I do well at competitions, I get paid. But what happens when there’s not competitions?"

ST. LOUIS — The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were officially postponed on Tuesday amidst the growing global pandemic. 

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee came to the agreement to postpone the games until summer 2021, at the latest.

RELATED: Tokyo Summer Olympics officially postponed to 2021 by IOC

This is the first major disruption and change to the Olympics since World War II when the 1940 Olympic Games in Tokyo were canceled.

The Olympics is the biggest event yet to be affected by the growing concern over COVID-19.

Lincoln County native and Olympic athlete Deanna Price said the postponement will present challenges for athletes, but was the right call.

“I’ll say this, I’m very grateful.” Price said. “Because, ya know, the wants of what I want versus the needs of the people. It outweighs me every single time.”

Price placed eighth in the hammer throw at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. In 2019 she won the gold medal in the hammer throw at the World Track and Field Championships, becoming the first American to ever win this event internationally. She also holds the U.S. record in the event.

RELATED: St. Louis native DeAnna Price breaks her own American record in hammer throw

The pandemic and need to social distance had already caused Price to modify her training methods before the announcement Tuesday.

“We jumped into our own savings to put a small little weight room in our garage,” Price said. “Any time we find an open field with a concrete slab next to it, we’re doing turns. Just to keep with the rhythm.”

Price has been training nonstop since the Rio Games and looks at this postponement as “another 365 days” of work. She said the delay could force physical challenges, but that wasn’t her biggest concern.

“I definitely feel a lot for my teammates, who were really counting on this year,” Price said. “It makes it hard. Because they’re really counting on that income of competing at these international competitions, cause some of them don’t have sponsorships. Luckily, I’m with Nike now. I just signed with them. But, I’m more on a bonus contract. So, if I do well at competitions, I get paid. But what happens when there’s not competitions? So, it is definitely difficult but I do have faith. And athletes are gonna do what they have to, to survive.”

Price added that she would rather face these battles and potentially look at second jobs if needed than put others in danger during this global crisis.

The Olympics in Japan will take place in 2021, but will still be called the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

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