Team Great Britain Tokyo 2020 hopeful suffers major career setback following COVID-19 delay by the IOC

Rowan Bradbury, Taekwondo instructor and, at one stage Tokyo 2020 candidate, has had as tough a 2020 as any athlete.

There have been many a fallout from this pandemic, but we sometimes fail to see how those consequences impact us on a personal level.

A native of Armagh, Northern Ireland, Bradbury was fresh from recovery of an injury when the pandemic struck.

The 19 year-old fighter was set to partake in trials for Team GB and without the chance to prove himself, he’s left wondering what might have been.

He said: “I’m usually a very optimistic person. That being said, you can tell it had an effect on everyone, especially the athletes who rely on sports.”

Bradbury may never realise his full potential, and he blames COVID-19 for the loss of momentum, calling it “the final nail in the coffin.”

Rowan’s story is reflected across the UK, with athletes losing places they worked years for

“Taekwondo meant everything to me, it made me the person I am today,” he said.

“So for me to not be able to go in and train with my teachers and students, it has definitely taken a toll.”

Rowan had suffered setbacks in his career before, but he used to have the mindset that “every injury makes me stronger”.

Lockdown has made everyone think differently though, and it derailed the meteoric rise of this national prospect.

“It made me question what I want to do,” added Bradbury.

“I think the conclusion I came to is that I’ve been injured so many times maybe the Olympics isn’t for me anymore.”

The sad reality is that this is the story for athletes up and down the country, especially fighters whose gyms rely on training to stay afloat.

For Rowan however, he will always see the Olympic dream as “the one that got away”.