Training in Hong Kong, a former Hokie’s Olympic dreams on pause

Japan 2020
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HONG KONG (WFXR) — This week, Ian Ho should’ve been in Japan competing in the pool at the Summer Olympics.

But those dreams are on pause until next summer because of the coronavirus pandemic. The delay, however, isn’t putting a damper on the enthusiasm of the Blacksburg native, who still has his sights set toward Tokyo.

“I was in the stage of my training where I was ready to compete,” Ho said.

When the pandemic began to spread in the United States, Ho was just weeks away from swimming in Hong Kong in one of his final meets before the Olympics. The former Hokie already made the trip halfway across the globe after training in Christiansburg with other Olympic hopefuls, including Rio 2016 gold medalist Joseph Schooling.

“I’ve been able to train with a lot of different people from all these different backgrounds which has been amazing to compete at such a high level. Definitely what makes a program as great as it is is the people that swim in it and the coaches that coach it. I think we have both of those,” Ho said. “I don’t think I would be swimming in Hong Kong had it not been for some of the teammates that I’ve met.”

Ho expected to be back in Virginia by the end of April but the pandemic has the Blacksburg native staying in Hong Kong indefinitely.

“My immediate family is still in Blacksburg so my mom and my dad and my sister and my relatives who I am staying with right now — my aunts, my uncles, my grandparents, everyone except for my immediate family is here in Hong Kong so it’s been nice spending some time with them,” Ho said.

The Olympics have been rescheduled to begin on July 23, 2021. But that will depend on whether the coronavirus is under control by next summer. Until then, Ho’s sights are still set toward competing in his first Olympics.

“As of now, I’m trying to stay in shape, now that my qualifiers are done. I’m trying to go to the beach some more, swim some there, which has been nice,” Ho said. “Trying to do dry land exercises by myself here in the apartment.”

And if the Games were to happen next summer?

“I’m trying to go for it right now.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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