Olympics | Garrick’s dream still alive

By Tyler Maher

Maddie Garrick's Olympic dream remains alive after it was announced the Tokyo Games were to be rescheduled to next year.

The qualification status of Shepparton basketball product Garrick's Australian 3x3 squad was up in the air following the postponement of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament due to the coronavirus outbreak.

But now Garrick and her teammates can refocus on a 2021 campaign to first reach — and then climb — the Olympic dais.

“It's a funny space to be in, there's a bit of relief, but there's also a fair bit of disappointment at the same time,” Garrick said.

“It's something we've been working towards for a long time now and it's a bit sad in that sense, you always want to be looking to train for something.

“But we can relax a bit now.

“Performing at our best would have been very difficult and it's the same for every athlete involved.

“I think it's going to be a time for athletes to have a bit of a break mentally and physically, and then those who are really committed will still find a way to better themselves in isolation or lockdown.”

Garrick's immediate basketball future was also affected by the pandemic, with the NBL1 season cancelled entirely.

“I had to move out of where I was living, with NBL1 season called off a few things changed,” she said.

“Even though we're in Melbourne and we're isolated I think it was still best for me to stay down here.

“I can be closer to my teammates and we can maybe exercise with one other of us in the park or things like that.

“It's going to be really tough, but our health is the most important thing, you can't perform if you're sick or making others sick.”

As well as keeping tabs on her own mental and physical health, Garrick will also be looking out for those around her.

“We need to keep supporting each other from afar,” she said.

“Connect back with those important to us, both family and friends.

“I downloaded a few new video apps and they let me reach out to people I haven't been in contact with for a long time.

“I don't think we'll have a whole lot of clarity for a while, because the thing is, we don't know how long this is going to go on for.

“But being able to handle adversity is part of being an elite athlete, you learn how to adapt.

“It's a difficult time for everyone, really lean on the people around you and keep supporting each other because we really need each other at this time.”