The road to Tokyo 2020: A week in quotes

Elodie Clouvel of France looks on during the women's fencing bonus round at the UIPM World Cup, Modern Pentathlon test event for the Tokyo 2020 on 28 June 2019 (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
Elodie Clouvel of France looks on during the women's fencing bonus round at the UIPM World Cup, Modern Pentathlon test event for the Tokyo 2020 on 28 June 2019 (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Athletes around the world have been busying themselves in preparation for the resumption of live sport, with some nations allowing training complexes to open and others even giving the green light for competitive action to start.

Tokyo 2020 has been speaking to several athletes whose journey to the Olympic and Paralympic Games is slowly gathering pace.

Israel Madaye: My 'steel mind' helped Chad earn first Olympic qualification in archery

Chad archer Israel Madaye at the 2019 African Games in Sale, Morocco
Chad archer Israel Madaye at the 2019 African Games in Sale, Morocco
World Archery

Qualification was a dream for me.

It does not matter [how] it happened, it’s on my side, now.

The landlocked north-central African nation of Chad has traditionally sent track and field athletes to the Olympic Games but Israel Madaye will make history at Tokyo 2020. The archer's qualification for the Olympics was one of the greatest moments in Chad’s sporting history.

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From swimming to pentathlon: Elodie Clouvel’s rise to the top

Silver medallist Elodie Clouvel of France poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's Modern Pentathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Silver medallist Elodie Clouvel of France poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's Modern Pentathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

It’s like a chess match - super strategic and you cannot afford to give up, all day long.

It’s full of twists and there is always a chance to claim victory.

After failing to qualify for swimming at Beijing 2008, France's Elodie Clouvel switched to modern pentathlon which led to a silver medal at the Rio 2016 Games. But now aged 31, the star has her eyes set on achieving gold next year alongside someone special.

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India’s Palak Kohli battles all odds to brace for Tokyo challenge

Palak Kohli with national Para badminton coach Gaurav Khanna
Palak Kohli with national Para badminton coach Gaurav Khanna
BWF

I want to be remembered as a Paralympian.

And winning a medal at this biggest stage will be my dream.

Para badminton prodigy Palak Kohli has been away from her home and family for almost seven months as she aims to achieve her goal of earning a Tokyo 2020 qualification and a medal for India. The 17-year-old has also battled an injury and a COVID-19 lockdown to continue her preparations for a shot at the Paralympic Games.

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Kaarle McCulloch: The Olympic Spirit lives within me 

Kaarle McCulloch of Australia celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's team sprint at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Kaarle McCulloch of Australia celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's team sprint at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
2019 Getty Images

I couldn't see the ground.

It was just a sea of heads and there was this feeling among the people, it was something I've never felt before.

Australian track cyclist Kaarle McCulloch was 12-years-old when the Sydney 2000 Games took place in her own backyard and the impact it had on her, is something that continues to be a source of power and inspiration.

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Christa Deguchi: "My goal is to win Canada's first ever judo gold medal”

Christa Deguchi (blue) of Canada and Tsukasa Yoshida (white) of Japan compete in the Women's -57kg final at the 2019 World Judo Championships (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
Christa Deguchi (blue) of Canada and Tsukasa Yoshida (white) of Japan compete in the Women's -57kg final at the 2019 World Judo Championships (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
2019 Getty Images

After talking with family, coaches and friends, I decided to make the switch.

Christa Deguchi had a promising career as a judoka from Team Japan. However, three years ago, just before her 22nd birthday, she decided to make the switch to represent her Canadian roots and get into Olympic contention. The Canadian, who won the 2019 World Championships, is now eyeing a chance to bring the first ever gold medal in judo to Canada.

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Record breakers: Tanni Grey-Thompson - inspiring the next generation of Paralympians

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson answersat the 2016  Sport Industry Breakfast Club in London. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images).  (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson answersat the 2016 Sport Industry Breakfast Club in London. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images). (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

What athletes need to do is take the positive out of this.

In this recordbreaker series, we focus on Tanni Grey-Thompson's achievements from Seoul 1988 and Athens 2004 plus other highlights from her life after retirement and her advocacy for the Paralympic movement.

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Pentathlete Charles Fernandez building a brighter future for Guatemalan communities

Charles Fernandez of Guatemala competes in Riding during the Men's Modern Pentathlon Tournament - Aquece Rio Test Event for the Rio 2016 Olympics on March 13, 2016 (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
Charles Fernandez of Guatemala competes in Riding during the Men's Modern Pentathlon Tournament - Aquece Rio Test Event for the Rio 2016 Olympics on March 13, 2016 (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

They are the reason I do what I do in sports.

I am an athlete for this country.

I don’t compete for myself but for the people.

When I am on the podium… I just think of the smiles of these people who suffer every day, who work everyday to achieve a better life.

Born in the United States to parents who were missionaries, Charles Fernandez was aware of a tougher reality. His parents and his own social work, have inspired his own sporting endeavours and now the Guatemalan is setting his sights on winning an Olympic medal.

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Margielyn Didal: Skating her way to Tokyo 2020

Margielyn Didal from the Philippines hopes to compete in next year's Tokyo 2020 Games.
Margielyn Didal from the Philippines hopes to compete in next year's Tokyo 2020 Games.
Courtesy of Anthony Claravall

I can't still imagine representing my country and raising the Philippine flag, especially for Olympics soon.

Skateboarding star Margielyn Didal has been making waves since she earned gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games and other international competitions. This time, she is eyeing Tokyo 2020 to make Olympic history in skateboarding.

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