The road to Tokyo: A week in quotes

Sarah Hirini (nee Goss) of New Zealand is tackled by Ellia Green of Australia during the Women's Gold Medal Rugby Sevens match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Sarah Hirini (nee Goss) of New Zealand is tackled by Ellia Green of Australia during the Women's Gold Medal Rugby Sevens match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/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.

Zudikey Rodriguez's highest hurdle

Zudikey Nunes of Mexico reacts after winning gold in the Women's 400m hurdles finals during the Ibero Americanos Caixa 2014 Athletics (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)
Zudikey Nunes of Mexico reacts after winning gold in the Women's 400m hurdles finals during the Ibero Americanos Caixa 2014 Athletics (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)
2014 Getty Images

Now I’m going to turn all this pain and sadness into something that lifts me up in order to give the best of myself to my son… up in heaven

After the passing of her son, Mexican athlete Zudikey Rodriguez couldn't bring herself to continue running. But the sport that she turned her back from eventually gave her a newfound strength to carry on. Now Rodriguez is aiming for Tokyo 2020 which will be her second Olympic Games after Beijing 2008. She will compete in a new discipline, the 400m hurdles and this time, she is armed with a new purpose - to complete the race for her son.

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Andrew Bogut waiting for Olympic decision

Andrew Bogut of Australia celebrates with teammates after winning the quarter-final match against Czech Republic at the 2019 FIBA World Cup (Photo by Yifan Ding/Getty Images)
Andrew Bogut of Australia celebrates with teammates after winning the quarter-final match against Czech Republic at the 2019 FIBA World Cup (Photo by Yifan Ding/Getty Images)
2019 Getty Images

As I've said on record, I'll wait until the end of the year till hopefully this all passes and then figure out if I'll have my one last dance.

After playing for 19 months straight, Australian basketballer Andrew Bogut has been taking a break from the game after the COVID-19 forced the premature ending of the National Basketball League season and the postponement of the Olympic Games.

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How Rio changed the Black Ferns 7s

New Zealand Seven's women's captain Sarah Hirini speaks to the media during the New Zealand Sevens Captain's Media Opportunity in Hamilton, New Zealand (Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images)
New Zealand Seven's women's captain Sarah Hirini speaks to the media during the New Zealand Sevens Captain's Media Opportunity in Hamilton, New Zealand (Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images)
2020 Getty Images

For most of us that's the goal and to have that postponed was really disheartening but for myself, that's all we think about - winning gold and bringing home gold for New Zealand.

After missing out on gold at Rio 2016, New Zealand's Women's Rugby 7s side have gone from strength to strength winning a World Cup, two World Series and Commonwealth Games gold to their names. Captain Sarah Hirini explains what has changed since Rio that has made the Black Ferns the force they are.

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Former NBA man Robbie Hummel on lockdown life, Tokyo 2020 and The Last Dance

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 20: 3x3 basketball player Robbie Hummel poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympics shoot on November 20, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 20: 3x3 basketball player Robbie Hummel poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympics shoot on November 20, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
2019 Getty Images

It is a sport with a lot of feel,

knowing where your team-mates are going to be.

USA's 3x3 basketball star Robbie Hummel is hoping to star at next year's Olympic Games, just like his idol: Michael Jordan. Here he talks about his obsession with The Last Dance, life in lockdown and the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Games.

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Mariel Zagunis: 'Gold in Tokyo is the goal'

Mariel Zagunis of the United States celebrates after the United States wins the Women's Sabre Team bronze medal in Rio 2016 .  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Mariel Zagunis of the United States celebrates after the United States wins the Women's Sabre Team bronze medal in Rio 2016 . (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

It never really crossed my mind that I wouldn't eventually become an Olympian.

Mariel Zagunis from the USA was the first female sabre fencer to win gold back in Athens 2004 - a feat which she repeated back in Beijing 2008. Here, Zagunis details her Olympic career from making history at 19 in Athens up to Rio 2016 plus other personal triumphs. In next year's Tokyo 2020, she will compete in her fifth Games - her first Olympics as a mother.

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Bouncing back from Rio, building up for Tokyo

Samir Ait Said of France celebrates after his routine in Men's Rings Final during the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 2019 (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Samir Ait Said of France celebrates after his routine in Men's Rings Final during the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 2019 (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
2019 Getty Images

I’m going to work hard to go get that title at the Olympics.

Athletes who suffered injuries and missed out big time at the Rio Games are looking for redemption. Will they be able to regain their glory in Tokyo 2020?

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Comeback kid Kelly Cartwright is back on track in Tokyo

Kelly Cartwright of Australia competes in the Women's Long Jump at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Kelly Cartwright of Australia competes in the Women's Long Jump at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
2012 Getty Images

I’m absolutely stronger mentally than I’ve ever been.

As a result of an ankle injury, two-time gold medallist Kelly Cartwright had to switch from athletics to powerlifting after London 2012. This time however, the Australian sprinter is looking forward to being back on the track for another shot at Paralympic glory.

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