Hollie Arnold has shared fears that she will ‘struggle’ if the Tokyo Paralympic is cancelled after it was postponed last year due to coronavirus.
The Paralympic athlete, 26, admitted she suffered ‘mentally and physically’ when the games were cancelled last year over fears it would increase the spread of the virus.
Speaking on FUBAR radio, Hollie said: ‘I will struggle. I struggled last year with it obviously being said that it’s been cancelled. Yeah, I struggled, I struggled mentally and physically.
Paralympic champ! Hollie Arnold has shared fears that she will ‘struggle’ if the Tokyo Paralympic is cancelled after it was postponed last year due to coronavirus (pictured at the World Para Athletics Championships 2017)
‘It’s my job at the end of the day. Training day in and day out, blood, sweat and tears.’
Hollie acknowledged though that it is completely out of her hands and added: ‘If it doesn’t it’s just one of those things and we have to look at it as, you know, if the world is obviously in a much worse place, then we have to be sensible…
‘And we’ll just have to deal with that. But everything is crossed and I hope Tokyo will go ahead. And yeah, ready to rock the place.’
A decision has yet to be made on what will happen this summer, but Olympic legend Sir Matthew Pinset believes it is not viable for the delayed 2020 event to happen in the Japanese capital as Covid is still such a threat around the world.
Honest: The Paralympic athlete, 26, admitted she suffered ‘mentally and physically’ when the games were cancelled last year over fears it would increase the spread of the virus (pictured on I’m A Celebrity in 2020)
The Japanese public’s want for the event to go ahead has reduced, with 77% of respondents in a survey this week saying it should be cancelled or postponed.
Hopeful it may still happen, Hollie told hosts Bobby Norris and Stephen Leng: ‘They are really, really pushing for the Paralympics to go ahead and the Olympics, and I’m training like I’m going there to compete… They’ve put so much money into this.
‘They spent like over two million. So, we need this. We need it for people. We need happiness, regardless if people are going to be there to watch us.’
She added: ‘I want to go out there and defend my Paralympic champion status. And I would like to take the world record out of reach… That’s been my dream.’
Hollie acknowledged that after the turbulent year the whole world has had to deal with, the Olympic and Paralympic games going ahead would be really important for worldwide morale: ‘I just feel like, do you know what? Everyone will love it!
‘Everyone will tune in and support us and I just want to go ahead and make my 2020 that I wanted into the 2021. Hopefully everything will go ahead and you never know, hopefully, I’ll have another gold medal around my neck, that would be amazing.’
Royalty: Hollie receiving her MBE from the Prince Of Wales
Hollie went to say that her stint on I’m A Celebrity has given her a taste of life outside sport.
Hollie explained: ‘Obviously my goal has always been, and hopefully this year if everything goes ahead, Tokyo. But I found a new strength, it sounds really cheesy but I found a new strength within doing I’m A Celebrity because it gave me an opportunity to realise that sport is not forever.’
She continued: ‘I was always 24/7 athletics, athletics, athletics. And really, sometimes you just need to be like, ‘alright Hol, there could be a singing career down the line, you have no idea. You could do more TV.
‘I just feel like, now, I kind of go, “if any amazing opportunity comes this way, of course if it doesn’t interrupt with training and things like that and we can manage that, then why not.”
She added: ‘I want to go out there and defend my Paralympic champion status. And I would like to take the world record out of reach… That’s been my dream’