“It’s a business trip,” Kendziera on unique experience ahead in Tokyo


(WCIA) — The Olympic games will look a lot different for first-time Olympian David Kendziera. The former Illini Track & Field standout will compete with Team USA in Tokyo this summer, qualifying in the 400m hurdles. But the 10-time All-American calls his debut in the Olympics, a “business trip.”

There won’t be much time for sightseeing in Tokyo, or even the chance to watch other events. Strict COVID-19 restrictions also prohibit fans at the events, something he didn’t expect for this first time at the games.

“The fact that I’m not going to get that full experience is the only negative or downside,” says Kendziera. “But I think it will still be a great opportunity and an awesome experience. They have all of Team USA in one building, so about 900 athletes from Team USA will be in the same building, so the possibility of like running into people is going to be awesome.”

Track & Field athletes will be able to arrive on Tokyo starting on July 24th, with Kendziera set to compete in his first event on Friday, July 30th.

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