Legendary Indian athlete, Leander Paes has revealed that his team wants him to feature in the next Olympic games which have been postponed till next year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It could be recalled that the legendary tennis player is planning to hang his racquet, and had intended to make 2020 his farewell season from International tennis, having hundreds of trophies. These trophies includes 18 Grand Slam doubles titles. He had planned to sign off from the tournament after featuring in his record 8th Olympics.
However, with COVID-19 forcing the International Olympic Association (IOA) to postpone the showpiece, Paes has to wait till next year before bidding the game goodbye.
As fate had other plans, Paes plan has been postponed to next year as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on humanity.
Speaking with TOI, the 46-year-old legend noted that it is a difficult time that no one prepared for, adding that it is very tough on athletes.
Some of India’s athletes are battling to survive with funds not coming from the game. With their livelihood currently taken by COVID-19, they have been rendered jobless.
On his plan for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, Paes said his team decide once the pandemic which he described as calamity ends. While assuring that his decision won’t be an easy one, he revealed that his aim of his team is to ensure the feature in his record eighth Olympics; the same sentiment they share with his father.
He added that he would be honoured to represent India for the last time, but he is yet to decide on his next line of action.
Paes who won a medal in the 1996 edition of the tournament also commended the IOC for postponing the game by a year, which he described as very smart.
Noting that the decision taken wasn’t easy, he pointed out that the planning for the Olympics takes years; so, the postponement close to the commencement is a huge loss.
The IOA had no choice than to postpone the tournament as top countries started withdrawing their teams from the competition, not wanting to put the lives of their athletes at risk.
Paes, who is also at home, is not complaining, stating that he had contributed a significant part of his life to the game.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed