How the Olympics being postponed affects Minnehaha’s Andrew Karpenko
Due to growing concerns of COVID-19 the Tokyo Olympics were postponed to July and August of 2021. Subsequently, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials were then postponed, affecting one of Minnehaha’s own, Andrew Karpenko.
Karpenko, who qualified for the trials in the 100m breaststroke, has also had to deal with the closure of athletic facilities including pools.
“I haven’t been in a pool for around one and a half months,” he said in late April. “I normally train year-round, with some short breaks after high school season in the spring and summer club season, so this is the longest I’ve been out of the pool in years.”
As a substitute for time in the pool, he has been doing dryland workouts most days of the week including strength training and biking for cardio.
“It’s been really tough not being able to swim,” he reflected. “But the worst thing is not being able to see my teammates every day.”
Although Karpenko was really looking forward to competing this year in the Olympic Trials, what’s more upsetting for him is the training and competing with his team he’s missed out on this spring. One of the most disappointing cancellations was a junior national level meet in Florida where the boy’s relay team he was part of was seeded first.
Another thing Karpenko admits, “It would have been much easier to train for a meet this year. Next year, I will have to train through the spring after NCAAs and finish out training back with the AquaJets (my club team) here in Minnesota when the school year is over.”
Despite all this Karpenko is keeping a positive attitude. With a year to come to terms with his lost season Karpenko still has high hopes for a very successful first year of college swimming at Swarthmore College that will get him ready and excited for doing well at the Olympic Trials.