This was supposed to be the week Daniel Roy vied for an NCAA national swimming title.
Instead, the Stanford sophomore and Gonzaga Prep graduate is back home in Spokane, trying to stay active amid the social distancing doldrums caused by thes worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Three weeks after placing second at the Pac-12 Championships in the 200-meter breaststroke – he lost to California star Reece Whitley, the same 1-2 result as last year’s Phillips 66 National Championships – Roy can’t find a pool.
Roy hasn’t swum in 14 days, the longest drought in his competitive career, but he’s trying, reaching out to aquatic facilities around the country to see if any are still allowing individual workouts.
His search has been fruitless.
“You start to feel a little uneasy,” said Roy, who qualified for the NCAA championships that were scheduled for this week in Indianapolis and were canceled earlier this month. “So I’ve been going on runs, trying to stay active as possible.”
The best swimmers in the world are faced with the same dilemma.
On Tuesday, the Olympic Committee announced the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games in Toyko, which have been pushed to 2021.
Roy, who was a member of the USA Junior National Team, planned to make a run at the Olympic Trials, although the All-American considered himself a long shot to make this year’s Olympic team.
“It’s kind of crazy. This year was a lot of people’s years (to do well in Tokyo),” Roy said. “I honestly don’t think I was mentally ready to make an Olympic run this year. It sucks for everyone else, but it helped me in a way.”
Soon after the Pac-12 Championships, Roy and his Stanford teammates got word that the NCAA Championships were canceled, but Cardinal coach Dan Schemmel encouraged his athletes to still train at the program’s facilities.
Two days later, Roy said, students were required to leave the campus to help curb the spread of a virus that has infected over 65,000 Americans and over 467,000 across the world.
When Roy returned to his South Hill home a week ago – his sister, a University of South Carolina student, also came back to Spokane – he figured he could still train in some of the area’s smaller pools, but they, too, are closed.
Roy, who recently ended his winter quarter at Stanford, said students are required to pursue their spring quarter studies online.
The quarter will start late, according to reports, but Roy believes it may ultimately be canceled.
“There’s nothing we can really do except take it a day at a time and wait for things to get back to normal,” Roy said.
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