PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NEXSTAR) – With no foreign fans, plenty of COVID-19 testing and restricted movement, the Beijing Olympics are going to look quite different.
That said, they are still the Olympics, and athletes are still ready to compete.
“Just being able to say we’ve finally reached that achievement and goal, at least for me, is definitely enough to make me so proud and pumped about what’s happening,” said speed skater Julie Letai.
Letai is looking forward to her first trip to the Olympics, even if the stands may be less full than she’s used to.
“When you’re in the moment, none of that is going to matter. It’s going to be all about racing with your teammates in that moment” she said.
Her teammate, Kristen Santos, is also excited for the Games, even with the restrictions. Her focus now is on staying healthy.
“A little bit scary right now with COVID and staying safe and making sure I don’t get it,” said Santos. “So being extra cautious in that sense… definitely looking forward to it a ton.”
For Andrew Heo, he’s thrilled that his Olympic dream is coming true, even though it’s different than a typical Olympic Games.
“Still can’t wrap my head around it, but I think just that excitement is definitely overwhelming,” said Heo. “When I think back about how my family is not going to be there and fans aren’t going to be there, it’s not like the real, usual Olympic experience which is kind of a bummer, but it is what it is.”
The Beijing Winter Olympics begin on Feb. 4.