Announcement postponing Olympics is small gift for Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan, USA (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)
Alex Morgan, USA (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images) /

When it was announced the Olympics would be postponed to 2021, Alex Morgan’s quest to play for the USWNT in the Olympics became significantly more achievable.

The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo have been postponed exactly one year to the summer of 2021. This decision was simultaneously relieving and heartbreaking to many.

The athletes, who are finely tuned machines with training regimens timed out for them to reach their ultimate peak at the exact moment they enter the Olympic games, are now forced to revamp their training to mentally and physically peak for 2021.

Spectators who longed for a thrilling, inspiring break in their daily quarantine routines now go back to books, board games, and Netflix. On top of that, Japan and Tokyo have been enormously impacted as the city was turned upside down to get it ready for the Olympics. But one athlete was able to breathe a little easier once the announcement was made.

More from USWNT

Alex Morgan has been a superstar for the USWNT for many years now, helping lead the team to multiple World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal. But this Olympic cycle, pregnancy has kept her from the Olympic qualifying matches and deprived her of the opportunity to train with her team as they prepared to go for gold again.

She is currently getting ready to give birth this month. Throughout her pregnancy, she’s continued to follow her own rigorous training plan designed for an elite athlete, with every intention of competing alongside her USWNT teammates at the originally scheduled 2020 Olympics.

Giving birth and competing at the Olympics three months later is a Herculean task that only one of the world’s top athletes would even dream of achieving. And Alex Morgan certainly had no intention of it ending before the dream became reality. Someone like Morgan with an unusual work ethic and drive is unlikely to take her foot off the gas now that the Olympics are over a year away, but it definitely gives her room to breathe and reprioritize.

Morgan can now turn her focus to having a healthy baby, staying healthy herself, and finding her groove as a parent before having to dive headfirst back into the crazy world that is professional soccer.

Next. USWNT World Cup Week on Julie Foudy's ESPN podcast. dark

Returning to peak game fitness and competing in the Olympics while raising a newborn will still be far from easy. But Alex Morgan has been gifted a minor reprieve that few female athletes trying to stay at the top of their game while starting a family ever get. There’s no doubt she’ll capitalize on this small gift and return to the world stage hungry, determined, and full of inspiring performances.