Sam Grewe could end up missing the start of medical school to go to the Paralympics, and that will be fine with him.
With the games postponed until 2021, the Notre Dame student and Paralympic silver medalist in the high jump will face a packed senior year and graduation.
"I would expect an extra element to the sense of urgency for the training next year," the American said. "I might miss my first two weeks of medical school to be in Tokyo, which is so far from ideal ... but I wouldn't miss Tokyo for anything."
Along with the Olympics, the Paralympics have been pushed back to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The new dates are Aug. 24-Sept. 5.
For many Paralympians, a delay seemed like the only option amid lockdowns around the world. Paralympic athletes often have specific medical and training needs which can't always be met at a time when people are staying home and doctors are helping out overloaded ERs.
"Sports are important but I think health is more important, frankly, and I think that this postponement has really, I would hope, enabled athletes to pause from those immediate concerns to train and really to prioritize their own health," said Dr. Cheri Blauwet, who won a Paralympic gold medal in wheelchair racing for the United States in 2004.
Specialized facilities are closed, leaving athletes training at home off video guidance from coaches. Different athletes are affected in different ways.
Visually impaired runners train and compete with a guide, and can't necessarily meet up with them while complying with social distancing rules. Sprinters' carbon-fiber "blade" prosthetics work great on a track, but aren't suited for asphalt or grass. Wheelchair rims can transmit the virus onto the user's hands if not disinfected regularly.
"Many of us operate with equipment and that equipment is essential," Blauwet said. "I think everyone is taking extra precautions to ensure we're doing everything we can to maintain sterility of our day-to-day equipment."
While Paralympians are in general much fitter than most people, some have conditions which make them vulnerable to the virus, said Dr. Feranmi Okanlami, the director of adaptive sports at the University of Michigan.
Athletes with a spinal cord injury may have reduced lung capacity, making it harder to cough, and they may also be susceptible to bed sores while being treated, said Okanlami, who was himself left paralyzed by a spinal injury and uses a wheelchair.
As the virus outbreak spreads in the United States, Okanlami has been seeing patients virtually and working on a coronavirus hotline.
"There are going to be even more patients treated as outpatients than there will be in the hospital and these patients need to have someone to talk to as well," he said in a text message.
Training conditions vary sharply across the world for Paralympians at the best of times. Specialized training facilities, coaching and equipment are often expensive.
Better-resourced national Paralympic bodies have set up online coaching resources for athletes, but many organizations in poorer countries don't even have a website.
In New Zealand, athletes training at home have support from strength and conditioning coaches and nutrition advice, as well as regular group calls with a sports psychologist.
"As a small nation with approximately 53 Para athletes targeting Tokyo we are able to provide very personal and individualized support," Paralympics New Zealand spokeswoman Melissa Dawson said in an e-mail.
The head of the International Paralympic Committee, Andrew Parsons, said he is only leaving his home in Brazil to buy food.
"This momentaneous and extremely tough new reality would be easier if we knew how long it would last but, the truth is, nobody knows. The uncertainty is hard to process," Parsons said in a letter to athletes dated Thursday.
"It is OK to not be OK and at a time when we are encouraged to be apart, we must unite like never before. We must look out for and support each other and prioritize health and well-being above everything else."
Bangladesh T20 captain Mahmudullah Riyad was blessed with a baby boy on Monday night.
Both the newborn baby and its mother are good in health now, confirmed a source close to their family.
This is the second time when Mahmudullah became a father. He also has an eight-year-old boy.
While Mahmudullhah was blessed with the second child, Shakib Al Hasan is also expecting his second child.
The Bangladesh all-rounder, who has been serving a two-year-long ban with one year is suspended, is now in the USA with his family. The all-rounder posted an image of his elder daughter on social media holding a baby t-shirt stating ‘welcome home’ with the caption ‘big sisterhood’ on Tuesday.
Sources close to Shakib’s family confirmed that the all-rounder and his wife are expecting a baby girl later this month.
All cricketing activities are on hold in Bangladesh like the other parts of the world due to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus. So the cricketers are staying at home and working only on their fitness.
Epyllion Group, a leading business house in Knitwears and Garments sector of the country, has distributed security and safety kits among the sports journalists from all media houses in the capital on Saturday.
The Epyllion Foundation, a concern of the business house, decided to support the sports journalists to help them discharge their duties safely during outbreak of deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country and elsewhere in the world.
Addressing a function on the occasion, the owner of Epyllion Group Riazuddin Al Mamoon, a former director of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), said he is associated with sports for long time.
“I have always treated sports journalists as my family members, so it is my duty to stand behind them in this crucial situation arising from Coronavirus,” he said.
Earlier, Epyllion Foundation also provided safety kits to the city hospitals to support Coronavirus victims.
Narail Express Foundation, the charity run by Bangladesh cricket’s most successful captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, launched a mobile medical unit to serve his home district during the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the initiative, NEF will offer treatment services focused on the marginal population in the remote areas of the district. Besides anyone infected with the coronavirus, other patients will also receive medical advice and treatment from this mobile medical unit, according to the charity’s Facebook page, that Mashrafe himself also confirmed.
“Chairman of Narail Express Foundation, Mashrafe, announced to launch a medical team to treat the people who live in the remote areas of the district. The initiative will start working from Sunday (Apr 5). If you think you need this service, please contact us,” read the announcement on the social media page of the charity.
“We will be updating our programme, and inform you all about the working areas. To make this initiative a success, please do practice social distancing and the other medical advice which was instructed by the government,” it also said.
Earlier, Mashrafe helped 1,200 families by providing them with food and groceries. He also provided 500 PPEs (personal protective equipment) for the health-workers of Narail. Bangladesh cricket’s most successful captain also donated half his monthly salary to tackle the current situation in the country which was prompted by the deadly coronavirus.
Kobe Bryant's resume has yet another entry to prove his greatness: He's now, officially, a Hall of Famer.
And he's got plenty of elite company in the 2020 class, one that may be as glitzy as any.
Bryant and fellow NBA greats Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett headlined a nine-person group announced Saturday as this year's class of enshrinees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
They all got into the Hall in their first year of eligibility, as did WNBA great Tamika Catchings. Two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich finally got his call, as did longtime Baylor women's coach Kim Mulkey, 1,000-game winner Barbara Stevens of Bentley and three-time Final Four coach Eddie Sutton.
They were the eight finalists who were announced in February, and the panel of 24 voters who were tasked to decide who merited selection wound up choosing them all. Also headed to the Hall this year: former FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann, selected as a direct-elect by the international committee.
"He was the head of FIBA and this was a way to honor him," Hall of Fame Chairman and enshrinee Jerry Colangelo said. "It was a special thing done through that committee."
Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, about three weeks before the Hall of Fame said — as if there was going to be any doubt — that he was a finalist. Duncan and Garnett were also widely perceived to be locks to be part of this class; they were both 15-time NBA All-Stars, and Bryant was an 18-time selection.
Bryant's death has been part of a jarring start of the year for basketball: Commissioner Emeritus David Stern died on Jan. 1, Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine who died in the crash in late January, and the NBA shut down March 11 as the coronavirus pandemic began to grip the U.S.
"Obviously, we wish that he was here with us to celebrate," Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's wife, said on the ESPN broadcast of the class announcement. "But it's definitely the peak of his NBA career and every accomplishment that he had as an athlete was a steppingstone to be here. So we're incredibly proud of him."
Bryant was also a five-time champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, just as Duncan was with the San Antonio Spurs.
"This is an incredibly special class, for many reasons," Colangelo said.
Garnett is the only player in NBA history with at least 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 blocks and 1,500 steals. He also was part of Boston's 2008 NBA title.
"This is the culmination," Garnett said. "All those hours ... this is what you do it for, right here. To be able to be called 'Hall of Famer' is everything."
Catchings was a 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist. Tomjanovich, who had overwhelming support from NBA peers who couldn't understand why it took so long for his selection, was a five-time All-Star as a player, guided Houston to back-to-back titles and took the 2000 U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal.
Mulkey has three NCAA titles as a coach, won two others as a player and had Baylor in position to vie for another championship this season had the global coronavirus pandemic not forced the shutdown of virtually every sport around the globe. Stevens has coached for 43 years and is a five-time Division II coach of the year. Sutton won more than 800 games in nearly four decades, and Baumann was one of the most powerful voices in international basketball until his death in 2018.
The enshrinement ceremony in Springfield, Massachusetts, is scheduled for Aug. 29. Should the pandemic force a delay, there is a tentative plan for an October ceremony as well.
For this year, largely because of the star power of this class, the Hall chose to enact a one-year suspension of direct elections from the Veteran's, Women's Veteran's, Early African-American Pioneers and Contributors categories.
With Bryant, Duncan and Garnett as perhaps the top NBA trio to ever enter simultaneously, the Hall wanted to make sure that no enshrinee would be overlooked.
"We didn't need to water it down," Colangelo said. "Next year is another year for many."