Adams has joined the preparations of the U.S. Women’s National Team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in February after not playing volleyball for a whole year due to injury. But for a player of her caliber, returning to high standards of competing such as when she won the 2014 FIVB World Championship or when she was named Best Middle Blocker of the CEV Champions League (2017) certainly wouldn’t be a problem.
However, her plans were interrupted by coronavirus pandemic…
Unfortunately, the United States is becoming one of the world’s biggest hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak. How do you feel about this whole situation with COVID-19? Are you scared, how are you coping with it?
“This is a very unprecedented and strange time for the world; we’re all experiencing this together and at the same time. I had been watching the outbreak via the news since word broke in China and then watched it make its way to Italy, and now it’s here in the USA. In the beginning, it was scarier to feel the panic of the community – I’m sure you heard about America running out of toilet paper and all cleaning products disappearing off the shelves. Now I find peace in focusing on things I can control and taking things one day at a time. As much as it sucks staying home, it’s a privilege that not everyone has. Right now I feel safe but I am more emotionally effected because every day I think about the people that are out on the front line fighting for us, not able to be home with their families, risking their health, and making the world move right now – doctors, nurses, food delivery services, grocery store workers, airport staff, and so many more.”
You have just returned to serious training after the one-year break, becoming the candidate for the Olympic roster again. How does it feel to get back in the saddle?
“I am SO HAPPY to be back! I feel very thankful to be healthy, competing at a high level again, and being back with my teammates and staff. My mind and body are fresh after a one-year break away from volleyball and now that the Olympics are moved to 2021 I am deciding on contracts for the 2020-2021 season. I’m not sure what the future will hold for leagues and each country, as we watch the outbreak unfold, but I know when it’s time for sports to return, it will unite the people and bring a beautiful spirit back to every community. I am excited to be apart of that spirit, to compete on big stages again, and I hope to join the team in the 2021 Olympics.”
In connection with the previous question – in case you stay healthy and avoid getting infected, how much will this new break disturb your future career plans?
“I like to re-evaluate my career every 4 years since many things in America fall in 4-year increments: 4 years high school, 4 years of college, 4 years leading to Rio, 4 years leading to Tokyo and see where my passion and focus is after every 4 years. I was set to get married in Mexico in June 2021 so we will see what month the Olympics falls on and after Tokyo, I was planning to see how my body and focus was when it came to volleyball. For many Americans, playing outside our country for 6-8 months out of the year away from loved ones and family isn’t easy to maintain.”
Are you in quarantine and how do you train and live in these days when many aspects of life are restricted?
“I am currently in quarantine but I haven’t been to a gym with a volleyball for 3 weeks now. Like many athletes that you see on social media, I am playing a lot of volleyball on the wall and with the people that I have around me. I am thankful that I live down the street from my two teammates that are here, Dixon and Drews, and that our USA staff was closely following the outbreak and new restrictions. Before restrictions got bad, they sent us home with workout equipment from the gym so we could make an at-home gym in our garage and still get workouts in. I am still able to go for walks to get fresh air and drive to the store to get groceries, so when I walk the aisles and shop, life feels normal for a little. I have found a “quarantine” routine, so that is very helpful for my mental health and helps me find peace amidst this strange time – like my routine of getting breakfast every morning, bringing it outside to eat and get fresh air, and watching a news show called Good Morning America. I do a lot of puzzles, FaceTime with my family and friends, take online classes, and find ways to be creative.”
Do you have a message for all volleyball fans and generally, to the people around the world, related to the situation with coronavirus?
“Let’s keep doing our part to stay home and stopping the spread. Keep staying connected to those around us and keep checking in on each other. We are in this together and together we will find the way.”
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