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Olympic Hopeful Jerome Blake On How Track Athletes Are Affected By The Delay Of The Games

Jerome Blake | Professional Track & Field Athlete | Team Canada

The delay of the games really affects a lot of athletes mentally [but] I personally don’t think it will affect performance because track and field athletes are extremely adaptive and will be able to overcome this.

Jerome Blake

Professional Track & Field Athlete

Team Canada

× The interview with Jerome Blake was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

Tell us about your journey as a Canadian Track & Field athlete and Olympic hopeful. What does a typical day look like for you?

My journey began in 2013 when I moved from Jamaica to Canada, which is when I met my first coach who really believed in me and who told me I had the potential to be one of the best in the world one day. A typical day for me is getting up at and seven AM getting breakfast, then I get ready for a morning track workout and then I take a break and go back in the afternoon to do a gym session. 

When I first moved to Canada I was living in Kelowna and ran for Rutland Senior Secondary School but I never really took Track seriously. My first big competition was the 2017 Canada Summer Games, but my career really took off at the Canadian National Championships in 2018 where I had a breakout performance and consequently earned myself a Nike endorsement.

You had intended to represent Canada at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics that has now been postponed until 2021, tell us about how did you feel when the news broke about the delay?

Obviously, as an athlete, you’re going to think about the situation differently than your average person. We all think we are superheroes, and nothing can harm us but unfortunately, it comes down to saving lives and not just thinking about ourselves.  With the games being pushed to 2021 it just gives me the opportunity to improve. 

How do you foresee the delay and the pandemic affecting athletic performance of track and field athletes when the next summer Olympics does occur? Do you think the extra time to prepare will be of benefit or do you think the difficulties that come with pandemic will decrease athletic performance?

The delay of the games really affects a lot of athletes mentally, and specifically, all the athletes that are at the peak of their careers and those that are at the end of their careers but for an up and coming athlete like myself this really gives me the opportunity to refocus and continue to get better. Having only begun to take my Track career seriously in 2017 at the Canada Summer Games, I’m still in the very early stages of my career.

I recently moved from British Columbia to Florida to make the most of my extra time before the Olympic trials in June by training with some of the world’s very best like Aaron Brown. Athletically at 25 years old, I’m at the beginning of my peak and I know this training will help me expedite my development and prepare me to have the best chance at making it to Tokyo next summer.

I personally don’t think the delay will affect our performance at the 2021 Olympic Summer Games because track and field athletes are extremely adaptive and will be able to overcome this pandemic.

Having participated in the RBC Training Ground, how do you feel like that initiative has benefited your track and field career and your Olympic dreams?

Yes, I really think that’ RBC training ground really helped me elevate my career onto the next level. I think it is something every young and up and coming athlete should do. I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of 30 young athletes in 2017 to be funded by the program and after getting my Canadian citizenship in 2018, I am now focused on the Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympic Games as a member of the Canadian National team.

Stacey Leawood Stacey's Final Thoughts

While many athletes train their whole lives with the dream of competing at the Olympic Games in their sport of choice, Jerome Blake’s decision to pursue his Olympic dreams came just 3 years before the 2020 Olympic Summer Games were scheduled to happen. And, as he mentioned, that means the delay of the games may actually be an advantage for him over more seasoned athletes who are currently amidst their best competitive years and those who are nearing retirement. I think that with an extra year of preparation we can expect some immerging stars at the now 2021 Tokyo Summer Games. Best of luck to Jerome and all the up and coming athletes looking to make it to their first Olympics next summer!

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