July 23 was the day the Olympic Games would have started in Tokyo, Japan, had it not been for the coronavirus sweeping the globe.
Instead the Games, like many other events, have had to be postponed. Caitlin Rooskrantz was supposed to take to the bars in early August as the first artistic gymnast to represent our country at the Olympic Games in 15 years.
To honour the years of hard work and preparation that went into getting Caitlin Olympic-ready, Sanlam will be live-streaming her Olympic routine from her training venue in Johannesburg on August 2 – the very day she would have been performing in Tokyo.
“Of course, this was not Caitlin’s plan, but now is the time to be making some new plans,” says Sanlam brand CEO Sydney Mbhele. Mbhele says Sanlam wanted to support Caitlin in reaching her goals – albeit in a different way.
“She is an inspiring example for us all of someone that has not let challenges get the better of her, but instead let them make her even better.”
Caitlin first set her sights on competing in the Olympic Games when she was just 11.
Multiple injuries followed – a series of which took her out of the competition circuit for almost three years. Despite the challenges, Caitlin, 18, fought hard to show the world what she’s made of.
“I don’t think I’ve given up on anything in my life,” Caitlin says.
“I’ve always tried to find another way through.”
About the postponement of the Olympics – a blow for any athlete at that level, she says:
“I told my coach the dream hasn’t changed, only the timeline has shifted.”
With her focus now being to make her routine even better for the Games that will shift to 2021, Sanlam’s offer to live-stream her routine on the day she would have performed it was a great extra motivation.
“After months of intense training in preparation for the Olympics, having the opportunity to still be able to perform my routine for South Africa in this way is incredibly exciting,” Caitlin says.
It’s also a chance for South Africans to get behind an inspirational athlete and celebrate this nation’s collective ability to always find the silver lining -even when our dreams are interrupted.
The live-stream of Caitlin’s performance will be on Sunday August 2 at www.nowisthetimetoplan.co.za.