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Louisiana's Olympic hopefuls agree with committee's decision to delay

The Olmypic committee has not announced new dates for the 2021 games, which will still be held in Tokyo.

NEW ORLEANS — Olympic hopeful Daniel Herrera has become very familiar with the practice track at City Park.

"I was in the midst of just really, really tough, arduous training," Herrera said.

On top of working full time, he finds time for two or three training sessions per day.

He runs 12 to 14 miles and fits in a lifting session.

As a person with dual citizenship, he was training with hopes of qualifying for Mexico's Olympic Track and Field Team for the 2020 summer games.

"That has kind of changed a little bit in the last week or so," he laughed.

Herrera, and other Olympic hopefuls who train in Louisiana are dialing back their workouts, after the International Olympic Committee decided to postpone the games until 2021.

It's the latest part of normal life put on hold thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic.

"It's difficult because it's our livelihood and it's something we've done. You know, I've done this every day for I can't tell you how many years, you know? And so to change those plans up, for me as an athlete, but just for humanity as a whole, to now have to change what their day to day look like, who they interact with," Herrera said.

"If this has made me realize anything, it's that, I love sport. I love athletics, but there's a lot of bigger things going on than that."

The International Olympic Committee officially postponed the games Tuesday.
Multiple countries had said they wouldn't send athletes if the games went on as planned.

Louisiana's Olympians took to social media quickly. Lolo Jones, who trains at LSU, wrote "I'm so happy the Olympics was postponed," adding, "This was the right thing to do."

Meghan O'Leary, an Olympic rower from Baton Rouge, posted a long caption to Instagram, writing, "The delay is absolutely the right decision and only adds to the heartbreak I feel for so many people whose lives have been upended by this crisis in far more dramatic ways."

For athletes who wait lifetimes to reach these goals, there's disappointment and maybe even a little grief.

But for Hererra, it's a reminder to look at the big picture.

"You know, a lot of people can get really caught up in next year, 'I want these games to happen, I want this to happen,'" he said. "I just want the world to be in a better place than it is right now. And if that means sport, and athletics, awesome. I'll take that."

The Olmypic committee has not announced new dates for the 2021 games, which will still be held in Tokyo.

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