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Marathon runner Diver hopes her Olympic dream won’t disappear

Marathon runner Sinead Diver at her Melbourne home with husband Colin, and sons Eddie, 11, and Dara, 7.

Marathon runner Sinead Diver at her Melbourne home with husband Colin, and sons Eddie, 11, and Dara, 7.Credit:Penny Stephens

As doubt lingers on whether the postponed games will be held, she just crosses her fingers and hopes.

The IOC said this week they were pressing ahead with the games as planned, despite reports out of London recently saying the Games were poised to be scrapped.

The reports said the Japanese government was searching for a way out of hosting this year and polls suggest almost universal opposition among the Japanese people to the games going ahead.

“It doesn’t make it harder to keep training but I have had a sense of having put things on hold for a long time and in your head you think ‘is it still worth it to dedicate everything for this goal only for it to be taken away?’,” Diver says.

It’s the family holidays foregone, the socialising with friends the family don’t do. In the recent heat when her husband Colin took their boys Eddie and Dara to the pool, she stayed home because ahead of a race she didn’t want to be in the sun for long. It’s small things that amount to big things in a family life.

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Sinead and Colin are both originally from Ireland. Sinead took up serious running 10 years ago after Eddie was born, then had Dara a couple of years later but was back in training soon afterwards and her times continued to improve rapidly.

She made the Australian team for the marathon at the world athletics championships in Beijing in 2015, just a couple of years after Dara was born, then went to the next worlds in London two years later, but has yet to make an Olympics.

“If it was to get cancelled I would be devastated because the likelihood of still being at my peak in three years’ time – I never say never, but I feel like now is the time for me,” Diver says.

“I really have everything crossed for it going ahead. I have still only been running for 10 years and had a baby in that time as well so I certainly don’t feel like I am going downhill yet, hopefully I have lots more years left, but the Olympics is only every four years.

“The last few years the goal has been the Olympics. If it didn’t go ahead I don’t think I would think it has been a waste but if I knew the Olympics were to be cancelled I might have done things differently. It’s (COVID-19) a bizarre thing to happen.”

Diver, like others, puts her hope in the idea vaccines may offer a way forward for a crowd-free pared-back Olympics.

“If it goes ahead – and I think it will – it represents so much more than just a sporting event going ahead; it shows we can overcome this virus and proves life goes on and we do our best to fight it rather than throw our hands in the air. It would be such a celebration.”

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