BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Aaron Russell’s dream of getting the gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will have to wait just a little bit longer.

“It’s crazy to think this is going to be postponed,” Russell said.

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Russell is an Olympic athlete on the U.S. Volleyball Team. His team won Bronze back in 2016 in Rio, and has since been preparing for the 2020 Olympics, that is until officials announced the Tokyo Games were postponed one year because of COVID-19.

“To have it be canceled is a little bit unfair to those people so I think pushing it back a year, I don’t know when it would be in 2021, but I think it’s good guys are already preparing it’s just a continuation of preparation,” Russell said.


Russell, born in Arubutis, Maryland, now lives in Trento, Italy, with his wife. He said for the past three weeks, he’s been training inside their two bedroom apartment.

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It’s a new normal, one athletes around the world are getting used to.

“This is going to end, you know, so what are you going to do now to put yourself in the best position when this all finishes, are you just going to sit on the couch and do nothing or are you going to still try to be active and work toward that goal,” he said.

He said while playing in the Olympics is the ultimate dream for athletes, it’s not worth jeopardizing their health. Even though officials haven’t announced the new date, he said he’ll be ready to play no matter what.

“Stay healthy, stay fit, and even just stay mentally healthy and prepare myself,” Russell said.

Russell said he and his wife decided to stay in Italy because they didn’t want to risk contracting the virus from hopping on a plane back to America, but he and his wife are healthy.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Kelsey Kushner