It was as much a show of fierce resolve as an acknowledgment of heartbreaking reality.
For two years now, gymnast Alec Yoder has had a whiteboard in his apartment with the Olympic rings and the words “the dream.” above a list of competitions for which he hopes to qualify. On Tuesday morning, he erased the last zero in Tokyo 2020 and replaced it with a “1.”
The date of the Games has changed. The aspirations they inspire have not.
“As an athlete, you have the outlook of, `This sucks. But it is what it is. What can we do to make it better in the future?’ ” Yoder told USA TODAY Sports. “At the end of the day, we’re not going to be able to change it. If we dwell on it, that affects our chance to make that team the next year.”