NewsSarasota, Manatee County


2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics postposed but local athlete remains hopeful

Posted at 7:45 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 13:48:23-04

SARASOTA, Fla. -- For the first time in history, the summer Olympics have been postponed, but one local athlete remains hopeful.

Jessica Hyne-Dolan uprooted her life moving to Sarasota to follow her dream of being an Olympic rower.

"I really wanted to make the national team and I said if I want to take this seriously and actually do it, we have to move across the country," said Hyne-Dolan.

Hyne-Dolan says she made the U.S. team for the Pan Am Games qualifier in 2019 but got sick and couldn’t participate.

Since then, she’s been training at Nathan Benderson Park where the U.S. Olympic and Para-Olympic trials for rowing are held.

"This was the first time it was actually maybe going to be a possibility," said Hyne-Dolan.

But just two days before the U.S. Olympic trials were scheduled, the coronavirus pandemic caused qualifying trials around the country to be postponed, including at Nathan Benderson Park.

"Initially, I started crying, it was pretty heartbreaking. All the hard work that goes in. You think you’re almost there," said Hyne-Dolan.

But Hyne-Dolan says she understands and is grateful after the International Olympic Committee decided to postpone the Tokyo games until the summer of 2021. Now Hyne-Dolan hopes she'll have a second chance all over again.

"I think coming from a bad spot, now I’m in a really good place," said Hyne-Dolan.