Averill Park grad Rudy Winkler preparing for Olympics with no fans


SAND LAKE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There will be no fans in the stands during the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo, as the city enters a state of emergency due to increasing COVID-19 cases. So, how will that affect the athletes competing?

Averill Park graduate Rudy Winkler will compete for team USA’s track and field team in the hammer throw event. He set the American record for hammer throw just over two weeks ago at the Olympic trials.

This will be Winkler’s second trip to the Olympics, also competing in 2016 in Rio. He does not believe the lack of fans will have much of an impact on his competition. “I think most throwers are used to throwing without spectators,” Winkler said. “It will be weird because there’s going to be an empty stadium, but it’s not going to be much different than what most people are used to doing on a day-to-day basis.”

What will be different is the Olympic experience. “Normally you have some time after you compete at the Olympics,” Winkler said. “It’s usually almost a month-long competition, so you have time to go do other things after you compete. But this year it’s you compete, the next day is the medal ceremony, and then the day after that you leave and go back stateside. So there’s not much downtime to really soak it in.”

Winkler will compete in qualifying on August 3, with the hammer throw finals on August 5.

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