KURT Fearnley is a man who knows all about overcoming adversity and being disciplined - qualities that his "athlete family" will now need to draw on with the news the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games have been postponed.
The postponement of the Games until 2021 comes in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Carcoar native Fearnley called time on his stellar international wheelchair racing career following the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, his resume including three Paralympic Gold medals.
But Fearnley remains an inspiration for Para-athletes and those in the sporting community in general.
Not only his racing record - he won more than 30 marathons across the globe - but his efforts in crawling the 96 kilometre Kokoda Track in 2009 and being part of the 2012 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race winning crew aboard Investec Loyal act as examples of what a determined individual can achieve.
Fearnley is now urging Australia's Olympic and Paralympic talents to draw on their own determination.
"Lots of love to my athlete family. This will hurt, but this delay allows everyone to focus on the health and well-being of each member of our community," he said on Twitter after the news of the Games being postponed broke.
"Performance can follow. Be disciplined, and get to the other side of this thing together."
While Games organisers had initially hoped both the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games would go ahead, the increasing number of coronavirus cases world wide forced them to chance their stance.
"In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO [World Health Organisation] today, the IOC [International Olympic Committee] president and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community," a joint statement from the IOC and Tokyo organising committee said.
Fearnley said they had "Zero alternative".
"The risks athletes take in those final months do not work with life at the moment," he said.
"You don't get the beauty of sport, without the harsh side as well."
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