Irish hockey ace Lena Tice says they would ‘play in a parking lot’ if needed so that no fans at the Olympics affect them
IRELAND hockey star Lena Rice has insisted that the likelihood of having few or even no spectators at their Olympic games will not bother the team.
Appearing on the COVID Lives podcast, she joked, saying, “ We would play in a parking lot if we had to do it now ” as their wait to participate in the rescheduled July Games finally draws to a close.
She said: “We are very excited. We face the Europeans in June, which is also a very important tournament, so we are thinking about that now.
“But obviously, in the back of your mind, the Olympics are this summer.”
Last week, Japan declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and three other districts due to an increase in Covid-19 cases.
From a sporting point of view, elite sport is allowed to continue but only behind closed doors.
These tighter restrictions will remain in effect until May 11, with the Games scheduled to begin on July 23.
WILL NOT AFFECT PLAYERS
But even though there is now a better chance that Ireland will have to compete on the bigger stage without any spectators, Rice does not foresee that this will hurt the team’s ability to produce their best performances.
She added: “We’re incredibly excited for this.
“There won’t be any supporters there – or no overseas fans anyway – which is obviously difficult as your family and friends are a big part of your journey as an athlete.
“It’s hard to know that they definitely won’t have the chance to travel, but at the same time, I always joke that we would be playing in a parking lot if we had to do it now!”
“We are dying to get out. Dying to play and compete.
“We used that extra year of preparation and we took advantage of it.
“But the selection hasn’t been made yet, so we’re also fighting for a seat on the plane.
“They only take 16, so in a way you’re like, ‘I have to get over this hurdle and then I can watch what the Olympics are going to be like. “
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The COVID Lives series will see host Gavin Dowd speaking with people across the country who have unique and meaningful stories to tell about their lives during the Covid pandemic.
Whether it’s looking for others, starting something new, or just finding ways to stay positive amid the gloom and gloom, the podcast series takes a truly unique look at the ups and downs. down over 14 months with the disease on this island.
The series is now available for download on all major podcast platforms, including Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.