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How a couple of former Syracuse athletes are handling the sports pause

We asked former Orange to share their thoughts on dealing with the COVID-19 situation

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CPL: Canadian Championship-HX Wanderers FC at Valour FC James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports for CPL

We’ve focused on the impact of COVID-19 on Syracuse Orange teams but there are plenty of former Orange dealing with the uncertainty of putting their athletic pursuits on hold. We were able to check in with a couple of alums to see how they are handling the current climate.

Jordan Murrell was a defender for Syracuse’s men soccer from 2011-14. Murrell had just begun his first season with the Las Vegas Lights FC of the USL when the season was halted for thirty days and he said that staying ready is tougher alone.

“So dealing with this halt of work on a daily basis is quite challenging. With the fields and activities such as training shut down, I have to get creative with my training. I have been doing a lot of at home workouts. This is a good way to stay focused and work on mental training, keeping your head down and looking for ways to get better each and everyday.”

Jordan provided a glimpse at his life as a professional athlete and trainer with this video feature.

I asked Jordan about the part which shows him training a younger player and he said it’s part of growing his connection to the sport as well as preparing for his post-playing days.

“I have been training younger players that want to improve their game. I take them through various technical drills that challenges and teaches them the many aspects of the game. I love helping players get better because even til this day, each session I coach, I get better. I will always be a student of the game.”

ATHLETICS-OLY-2016-RIO Photo credit should read PEDRO UGARTE/AFP via Getty Images

Flings Owusu-Agyapong competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics for Ghana and has been preparing to begin the process to earn a spot in Tokyo. Before the news came out that the IOC was considering postponing the games Flings expressed concerns about the decision ahead

“It’s definitely been a weird time. Last Thursday was our last normal practice. We were supposed to be gearing up for our first outdoor meet in April. In my case, I’ve been dealing with an injury and was finally just getting back into shape and competition shape. I think like most athletes who don’t have a qualifying mark, I’m anxious about the time left to qualify if the Olympics does go on as organizers say they will. I’m preoccupied with trying to stay in sprinting shape, but also be healthy and smart and protect myself and others by not going out. It feels like a catch 22 at the moment. If the Olympics get cancelled, then everything we’ve been working for seems like it was for nothing; if it goes on as planned, we won’t have the opportunities to prepare and it will likely lead to a lot of injuries and subpar performances. At this time all I can do is keep thinking positively and doing what I safely can to prepare.”

Flings felt a postponement was probably the best alternative in this situation. A one-year delay will not be ideal for every athletes but it provides the time for all to have the opportunity to prepare.

Justyn Knight shared his thoughts about Canada’s decision to hold athletes out of the Olympics if they weren’t postponed.

We know that Syracuse athletes had their seasons shortened but that won’t stop them for getting ready for a return to competition whenever that will occur. A number of the Orange distance runners turned their spring break trip into some extended training in Tallahasee.

While we wait for sports to resume you can follow these athletes online. Jordan Murrell is @Jmurrell4 and you can support Flings’s Olympic mission here