‘This is bigger than sports’: Mich. Olympic athlete responds to 2020 Tokyo games postponement

Overcoming hurdles is the name of the game for Olympic athlete Cindy Sember, who was set to compete as a 100 meter hurdles runner in the 2020 Games in Tokyo. That is, until it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandamic.

“To be honest, I was a little bit relieved. It’s been a lot of uncertainty in not really knowing where we stood,” she admitted.

But for this Ypsilanti resident and University of Michigan star athlete, that meant weeks of working to get ready despite not knowing if she would compete.

“The past weeks have been very difficult. We've been kicked out of facilities because of corona[virus] and so we've had to train outside,” she said.

But despite being relieved, Cindy, who was known as Cindy Ofili in the sporting arena until she got married, admits she is still disappointed.

After placing fourth in the 100 meters hurdles final at the 2016 Olympics, she was looking to make big strides in Tokyo.

“This year was a very big year for us athletes,” she said.

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But this is not the first hurdle Cindy, who represents her mother's homeland of Great Britain in the Olympic Games, has had to face.

“I've dealt with big injuries; I’ve ripped my Achilles tendon before and I’ve dealt with sitting out for a season. I'm just relying on what I've learned during that time to kind of get through this time,” she said.

“Health is the biggest thing, because this is the bigger than sports.”