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Podcast: Olympians! Just like us?

Irish Olympic swimmer Nicholas Quinn talks to Dolapo Agunbiade about his career, advice for up-and-coming athletes and more
The Olympics are every athlete’s dream. Nicholas Quinn is hoping to swim his way to gold in Tokyo this year. Photo courtesy of Anthony vis Pexels.com
Listen to “Olympians! Just like us? “

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was one of the long list of events casually swept aside last year by Covid-19.

Although restrictions are still in place in many countries globally, the games are scheduled to go ahead this summer instead — as the ‘2020’ Olympics.

Irish Olympian Nicholas Quinn took time out of his hectic training schedule to sit down with The City. The 27-year-old athlete, who’s currently based in Scotland, hasn’t been home in over a year due to the intervallic travel restrictions.

Quinn’s first time competing at the Olympics was in the Rio Games in 2016, where he took part in the men’s 100m breaststroke as well as the 200m race. Despite the pandemic, Quinn has been able to keep up with his training as well as his postgraduate work and will be arriving soon to compete in a series of trials to earn his place in this year’s Olympics. 

Believe it or not, there was a time when Quinn thought the 2016 Rio Games would be out of his reach. It’s hard to imagine that someone who has amassed such success so early in life could lacking certainty about their own talents, but it just goes to show that underneath it all, even renowned athletes have insecurities.

“I’ve tried to use the time since Black Lives Matter was trending last year to educate myself and learn more about systematic racism in our society”

Nicholas Quinn
A Photo of the five Olympic rings. Taken by Kyle Diaz from Unsplash

During our conversation, I asked Quinn about the Black Lives Matter card in his social media bio.

“I’ve tried to use the time since BLM was trending last year,” he says, “to educate myself and learn more about systematic racism in our society and what we can do to help end it.”  

#Deletebanreport is a scheme by the Olympic Federation Ireland calling for a zero tolerance approach to online hate speech by pushing the public – as well as sporting stakeholders – to take action when they see online abuse and discrimination, by deleting comments, banning the offenders and reporting them to the approriate platform. 

LEN European Long Course Swimming Championships Preview, National Aquatic Centre, Abbotstown, Dublin 12/8/2014. Irish swimmer Nicholas Quinn prior to departure for the LEN European Long Course Swimming Championships in Berlin, Germany from 18th-24th August 2014. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan (No Reproduction Fee)

Japan will be expecting over 10,000 competing athletes to arrive and once they do, they’ll be confined to the Olympic village. As of this moment, Japan has over 508,350 cases of Covid-19 and over 775,000 citizens have received a dose of the Covid vaccine. 

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will commence on Friday 23rd July 2021. 

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