From Realtà Mapei n° 32 - 2021-06-07

Ready? Set? Wait...

NOTE: This article is taken from our blog entry of April 6, 2020, at the height of the "first wave" of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Competitive sports may not be deemed as an essential service, but we think the inspiration it gives us sure is. With most international sports indefinitely halted for the bulk of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, MAPEI decided to touch base with some of the teams who wear our colors, to see how they are coping with the unprecedented situation. Like so many fellow Canadians, we found they were steadfastly positive, and not about to let anything knock them off their stride for long.

Macogep-Tornatech Girondins de Bordeaux

This elite MAPEI-sponsored UCI women’s cycling team had high hopes they might send one or more of their number to Tokyo in July for the Summer Olympics. While they remain hopeful to compete in the postponed 2021 Games instead, they have made their peace with the fact that their whole season remains up in the air for now. While their plans to start off their competitive season in April in Arkansas got scrapped, they do have access to online tools like Zwift to simulate races with others in their class in real time.

Team cyclist Émilie Fortin said for the time being, she has decided to simply continue her winter training regimen on her modified stationary bike indoors. “For one thing, it’s still cold outside,” she said. “And for another, if I were to fall and possibly injure myself, I might end up taking a hospital bed from someone who needs it more. So, it’s safer to train indoors.”

Toronto Velodrome Club
Another cycling team we sponsor, Toronto Velodrome Club, was likewise hopeful to send some of their members to Tokyo in July 2020, but is staying the course and looking at the bright side. “I think the team is trying to stay as positive as possible,” said TVC Olympic hopeful Michael Foley. “Everyone is dealing with it in their own way. The Games being delayed is disappointing, but at the same time it gives us more time to close the gap to the top team. And so it could mean a better result for the team at Tokyo 2021, which is exciting,”

While the team is relieved that their qualification status for Olympic competition still stands for 2021, a team statement concluded on a philosophical note: “With everything that’s going on in the world, it doesn’t feel all that bad. Just like any job, we have to stay at home and wait for the virus to blow over. We try to look at the bigger picture: There are people dying out there and people in healthcare who have to go to work to save lives. We stand with them in doing our part to put an end to this.”

Le Club Vélo Saint-Joseph
If a positive attitude is a key factor for success, the men of Le Club Vélo Saint-Joseph are leading the way. Happily exercising more than just physical distancing, they inspire us with their heartfelt commitment to each other and the surrounding community with their indomitable spirit.

“We’d been training together five or six times a week all winter, and we were really looking forward to the first FQSC race of the season,” said team leader Geoffroy Tremblay. “To keep focused, we’re doing virtual trainings three times a week, all together.”

Even keeping that up has its challenges, he said. “Some guys on the team are in solitary confinement after being overseas, others are employed in emergency services, and some are superheroes” (as by driving trucks throughout North America to supply the population with food and essential goods).

Other members of the team are doing their part to keep everyone safe by staying indoors as much as possible, but it’s great to see they aren’t letting that slow them down.

“We were all friends before we became a cycling team,” he added. “We’re more like a family now. When you have the will, you’ll find a thousand ways to succeed; if not, you’ll find a thousand excuses.” MAPEI is happy to support them as they continue to train hard to stay ready for whenever they get the green light to return to competitive racing. Keep it up, guys! To put your own dreams on hold for the sake of others is not a sacrifice that most of us will experience... It’s truly inspiring, and that’s why MAPEI Canada is so proud of all the athletes we support.

A timeline of early interruptions in sports

MARCH 11 NBA 2019-20 season is suspended indefinitely
MARCH 12 NHL 2019-20 season is suspended indefinitely
MARCH 13 2020 Concrete Canoe competition, slated for May 14-17, at Western University in London, ON, is cancelled
MARCH 14 2020 “World Cup of Quebec” X-Country Ski Race is cancelled
MARCH 23 Team Canada announces it is pulling out of Olympic Games going ahead this summer
MARCH 24 Tokyo Summer Games are postponed to 2021

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