The road to Tokyo 2020: A week in quotes

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Athletes around the world have been busying themselves in preparation for the resumption of live sport, with some countries 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.

Emily Overholt is swimming in high spirits again

Emily Overholt of Canada reacts after winning the Women's 400m Individual Medley after the final at the Pan Am Games on July 16, 2015 in Toronto, Canada.
Emily Overholt of Canada reacts after winning the Women's 400m Individual Medley after the final at the Pan Am Games on July 16, 2015 in Toronto, Canada.
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

After the Games, I was really depressed for a really long time.

I didn’t see how things would get better.

Emily Overholt was only 18 when she won bronze at Rio 2016, but shortly afterwards fell into severe depression and spent more than two months in hospital. She spoke to Tokyo 2020 about her toughest moments and how she managed to overcome them with the Olympic Games in her sights.

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Mandy Marquardt: The Olympic hopeful redefining diabetes

Mandy Marquardt of United States competes in the Women's Sprint Qualifying during the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in 2019 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Mandy Marquardt of United States competes in the Women's Sprint Qualifying during the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in 2019 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
2019 Getty Images

I didn’t really know any other athletes with diabetes.

That was really challenging because I didn’t really have anyone to look up to and say 'wow, they’re doing it, I can do it, too'.

The 18-time National Champion and two-time American record holder spoke exclusively to Tokyo 2020 about cycling, the Olympics and how she’s helping to redefine what’s possible as an athlete with type 1 diabetes.

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Mariana Arceo: The wonder woman who overcame COVID-19

Mariana Arceo of Mexico competes during the women's swimming at the UIPM World Cup Modern Pentathlon test event for Tokyo 2020 at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza in 2019 (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
Mariana Arceo of Mexico competes during the women's swimming at the UIPM World Cup Modern Pentathlon test event for Tokyo 2020 at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza in 2019 (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
2019 Getty Images

Everything changed, my training changed, the year changed, but the goal still stands.

It's the Olympic Games.

At the beginning of March, Mexican Mariana Arceo landed front-page news for something she would never have imagined.

The pentathlete was one of the first elite athletes to become ill due to COVID-19 while she was in Spain training for next summer's competitions. The situation forced her to return to Mexico, where she was admitted to the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases with pneumonia.

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Antonio Díaz: Retirement can wait

Venezuelan Karateka Antonio Jose Diaz Fernandez performs his training of some basic positions of his Kata for competition in his Dojo during COVID-19 lockdown on April 22, 2020 (Photo by Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Getty Images)
Venezuelan Karateka Antonio Jose Diaz Fernandez performs his training of some basic positions of his Kata for competition in his Dojo during COVID-19 lockdown on April 22, 2020 (Photo by Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Getty Images)
2020 Getty Images

I have waited 20 years to be able to participate in the Olympic Games.

I can wait one more.

The Venezuelan karateka, twice World Champion and the only athlete to have been on the podium eight times in a row at the World Karate Championships, will wait for the debut of his sport in the Olympic Games before finishing his glittering career.

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IM Ae-ji becomes Republic of Korea's first female Olympian boxer

Boxing Road to Tokyo: IM Ae-ji takes on Sakshi Chaudhary of India at the Asia/Oceania qualifier in Amman (JOR) on March 9, 2020.
Boxing Road to Tokyo: IM Ae-ji takes on Sakshi Chaudhary of India at the Asia/Oceania qualifier in Amman (JOR) on March 9, 2020.
Athlete365

By utilising my strength, which is speed and steps, I’ll become a woman of steel!

IM Ae-ji recently sealed her place at Tokyo 2020 by securing bronze at the Asia/Oceania Olympic boxing qualifying tournament in Amman, Jordan. In doing so, she became the first female South Korean boxer to have ever qualified for an Olympic Games.

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