BLACKSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — The Journey to Tokyo will not be like any athlete had imagined.
For one Virginia swimmer, it’s put him on the other side of the world for the foreseeable future.
Ian Ho traveled to Hong Kong in the early spring and has been there ever since. He hoped to compete for the country in the 2020 Summer Olympics.
As he was gearing up for one of his final meets in Hong Kong before the games, the coronavirus spread across the United States.
“I was in this stage of training where I was ready to, I was ready to compete,” said Ho.
He expected to be back in the United States by the end of April. However, as with so many things this year, the coronavirus changed those plans.
Ho is making the most of his time in Hong Kong by spending it with his extended family.
“Everyone except for my immediate family is here in Hong Kong, so it’s been nice being able to spend some time with them.”
His hometown of Blacksburg, Virginia, is also where he honed his skills as a top-notch swimmer at Virginia Tech.
“He came in, he was a walk-on at Virginia Tech,” said Sergio Lopez Miro, head coach of Virginia Tech Swimming and Diving. “He became the record holder and then last year he was one tenth of a second off of the Olympic time, and that’s a very difficult time. That was a top-16 time of the last Olympics.”
His 2020 Olympic dreams are now on hold, but he’s staying focused on 2021, training any way he can.
“As of now, I’m trying to stay in shape, now that my qualifiers are done,” said Ho.”I’m trying to go to the beach more, swim some there, which has been nice, trying to do dry land by myself here in the apartment.”
He’s making the most of unexpected circumstances, as his eyes remain on the Tokyo Olympics.
“I would say right now, if Tokyo 2021 happens, I am trying to go for it.