Just turn on the TV, the radio, go online, pick up your phone and you only hear about one thing: the Covid-19. There is hardly a single inhabitant on earth who has not heard of it. It is a fact, it is obvious.

But how do you escape the strange atmosphere of this moment? How do you focus on something else? Especially, how do you avoid falling into the psychosis of a situation, which by definition is anxiety-provoking?

If more and more countries isolate themselves and proscribe all contact, there is a population of citizens of the world whose profession and passion lead them to be in contact with the outside world. Their essential life takes place in contact with the public and fans, and their objectives are exclusively focused on a single event that will bring together all the countries of the world this summer. These people are the top athletes whose preparation and qualification phase for the Games has been suddenly stopped.

You have to imagine them as high precision machines, 'motorised vehicles' that can lose control at the slightest disturbance ... and what a disturbance! All of them had training plans already in place for the coming weeks and months. The last straight line was there, wide open before them. They just had to sprint, and in judo, score a few ippons, to win the last precious qualifying points.

Until the overall health situation subsides, the International Judo Federation works hand in hand with all international sports bodies to find fair solutions for every athlete who has an Olympic dream. It is not easy, but nothing is. The challenge is huge, but judo rests on solid foundations that allow it to face adversity.

Our athletes, athletes of precision, who could be completely destabilised, are now forced, many of them, to remain confined within four walls and they have made the choice to adapt. Isn't judo the 'way of adaptation,' by the way?

You just have to surf the internet to discover that not only do they train, but that they are very inventive and that in addition, they have an immense desire to share with the greatest number. As such, social media, one of the potential sources of anxiety, is also an incredible source of ideas and an amazing place where it is possible to collect and offer positive energy.

They are called Timna, Clarisse, Lukas, Sagi, Asma, Axel, Daria, David, Amandine ... there are hundreds of them who drag in their wake a global population that needs more than anything to escape. They were already models for society, but today they are taking on a new dimension, a dimension that all of us need.

For sure, many could say that it would undoubtedly be easier to give up, everyone would have the right to shut themselves up at home, turn on the TV and eat again and again, even if it meant losing their passion. Could we blame them when we say the same thing to ourselves? No. Should we follow them in their desire to overcome the situation? Obviously yes, even if we won't be able to do as many push-ups as Ilias, let's do one today, then two tomorrow, three the day after and above all let us hope that everything will soon be just a bad memory, a bad memory that will have taught us that being a top athlete is not only fighting for a medal, but it is also giving your whole self for a better world.

When you have the opportunity to see your favorite champions again in the dojo and stadia around the world, remember that they are anything but selfish. They are everyday heroes whose job, but also and above all, their passion, is to participate in the creation of a fairer society. As such, sport and judo in particular have a much more important role than it seems.

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