Arsenal forwards Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk have reflected on the IOC’s announcement that the Tokyo Olympic games will be postponed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. As World Cup runners-up, Netherlands qualified for the games in Japan, which will now take place in 2021.
Danielle van de Donk, currently recovering from an ankle injury, told Dutch newspaper AD that the decision was entirely understandable, “Everyone saw this coming, so I can’t be too disappointed. I am happy that they put the safety of people above sport. I see the situation getting worse with the Coronavirus.
“Here in England more and more measures are also being taken. We can do very little, we are in a lockdown and can officially go out once a day and not more than two together. Of course you hope the world will get the virus under control soon, but that is simply not the case yet. I think safety is paramount. Sport must remain fun and must not endanger people.”
💬 Van de Donk on her ankle injury:
"Luckily I didn't need to undergo surgery. I had to walk with protective boot for two weeks, but not anymore. I was allowed to take it off on Monday. I hope I can start running again next week." (https://t.co/HGE1ugWTlc) pic.twitter.com/oqTImSfe68
— miedemastuff ⚽️ (@miedemastuff) March 26, 2020
Likewise, her compatriot and teammate Vivianne Miedema was not surprised by the decision, “It seems a pretty logical choice to me. At the moment, the world is not ready to take risks with this virus. Athletes cannot prepare in a normal way, nor can we as football players. On such a stage as the Olympics, you want everyone to be in top shape. The whole world wants to see the best sports performance.”
Miedema has been isolating with teammate and partner Lisa Evans’ parents in Scotland. “I am now in the middle of nowhere in Scotland with my in-laws. In the past 24 hours, I have literally seen no one but my girlfriend and my in-laws. So it is a safe place. Only real training is of course not possible. I do have an exercise bike that I can use to keep in condition. Hopefully next year will be a great Games. Every top athlete wants to experience that.”
We’ll keep a steady trickle of Arsenal Women content coming for you during the lockdown- however long it lasts. There will be an exclusive interview with Leah Williamson on the site next week and all things being equal, there will be another Arsenal Women Arsecast in early April.