Medvedev on COVID-19: ‘We Can Choose How We Approach Crises’

Written by John Crumlish for International Gymnast Online

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Andrey Medvedev, ISR, in the kiss and cry area after the vault final at the 2019 European Championships

Veteran Israeli gymnast Andrey Medvedev, who turned 30 on Monday, told International Gymnast he is postponing birthday celebrations but staying patient and confident as he still hopes to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games that have been postponed until July 2021 due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

“We as individuals can’t change the situation but we can choose how we approach crises,” said Medvedev, the 2019 European Championships silver medalist on vault. “Especially as athletes, we have to demonstrate a sporting spirit and make the best with the time we have right now. Learn new skills, read books, spend time with our beloved. The coronavirus will be over, it’s for sure. And when it happens the goal is to be stronger, smarter and healthier.”

The Russian-born Medvedev, who has won seven World Cup or Challenge Cup medals on vault in the last three years, encouraged other gymnasts to remain practical and optimistic as the world copes with the pandemic.

“We all are in the same boat, and I think when this crisis is over, there will be enough time for everyone to get back in shape and get ready for competitions,” said Medvedev, who qualified second for the vault final at last month’s World Cup of Baku before Azerbaijan announced isolation measures from March 14, the first day of finals. “I’m not nervous about that. So from my point of view as an athlete, hopes for Tokyo are as optimistic than ever. I am sure that the FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) will find fair solutions for the gymnasts that didn’t qualify to the Olympics yet, and I will be in my best condition until then.”

Like athletes everywhere, Medvedev is dealing with temporarily inaccessible training facilities and a potential loss of fitness during quarantine. He relates to the challenges and urgent restrictions put in place to combat and minimize the pandemic, but does not question the postponement of the Tokyo Games.

“I have to say that it was inevitable, necessary and the most right decision to postpone the Olympics, despite the economic and logistic effects for the organization,” he told International Gymnast. “The health and well-being of people is the most important. The Olympics are a celebration of sports, and it will be possible only under a good atmosphere and normal circumstances.”

Medvedev said he plans to enjoy birthday festivities at a more appropriate, post-quarantine time.

“I would like to meet friends and family to celebrate my birthday, but in this situation, we must be responsible,” he said. “Therefore, I will leave all the celebrations for later.”

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast Quarterly, or to order back issues, click here.

More Gymnastics News: