NEW YORK - Fencer Daryl Homer took home a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics, and was hoping for the gold at the 2020 Games this summer in Tokyo.
Now those dreams have been postponed.
But Homer, who grew up in the Bronx, says the decision to delay the Olympics because of the coronavirus was the right one.
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"I think there is definitely the wanting to be there in July wanting all those things but it wasn’t a cancellation it is a delay not a cancellation. Sometimes things don’t happen when you want them too," Homer said.
Born in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Homer grew up on Gun Hill Road and attended P.S. 21, Salesian High School in Westchester and St. John’s. He regularly speaks to students from struggling communities about balancing his career and athletics. He’s approaching the postponement with the same sense of balance.
"It’s obviously a tough time for everyone with a lot going on but hopefully all of us come out productive - if not more productive - and I’m really excited to figure out what my next competitions are. And I'm getting prepared for those but until then," Homer said.
Until then, he says he will keep training how he can. And that’s what other local Olympic hopefuls are doing too - figuring out their next steps.
Yury Gelman the founder of Manhattan Fencing Club says has been having to do digital training sessions with his fencer. He’s closed his club indefinitely because of the pandemic.
"We do Zoom sessions. They are still working at home. It is not the same but they still do something. We wait until this quarantine is finished and move on," Gelman said.
The globally acclaimed trainer says several of his students fenced in qualifying rounds but the U.S. Olympic team but no one knows if those results will count anymore.
"We are all kinds of curious of how they will change all the olympic qualifiers for athletes its a big deal. Lots of questions here," Gelman said.