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Beaverton native Mariel Zagunis is ready for another chance at gold, but is Japan ready to host the Games?

PMG FILE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Mariel Zagunis is hoping for a shot at another Olympic gold medal in Tokyo this summer, but not everyone is convinced the Olympics should be held in 2021 at all.Mariel Zagunis is a fencer from Beaverton. She's competed in four Olympic Games and has won two gold medals. She wants another medal and had her eyes set on the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. But a year later, she still hasn't had her chance to compete. But that could all change in July at the 2021 Summer Olympic Games.

"Life would be so much different if none of this COVID stuff was happening," Zagunis said.

Zagunis said that preparing for an event that has been postponed and rescheduled has been challenging mentally.

"For an athlete, it's very difficult to train and prepare and even get motivated when it's like, 'We're competing in October. Oh no, wait, we're competing in December. Oh wait, it might be February,'" Zagunis said.

And with no international competitions happening during the pandemic, the veteran fencer hasn't had the opportunities to compete.

"In the 16 months leading up to Tokyo, I will have competed once," Zagunis said. "That was one of the biggest disappointments, when they announced that there wouldn't be international competitions, because especially leading up to the games, you want to kind of feel other opponents out."

Even now with a date set in July for the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, there is still skepticism over whether it will, or should, happen.

Read the full story on the website of Oregon Public Broadcasting, a Pamplin Media Group news partner.


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