THE postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics capped off a whirlwind fortnight for Horsham wheelchair basketballer Jannik Blair.
Blair left Spain and his professional club of Bilbao to return to Australia nine days ago, and has been in self-isolation at home in Horsham since his return.
Blair said the situation in Spain escalated dramatically, after he played a match on Saturday and trained as normal during the week while the crisis unfolded.
"On Wednesday, things started to get pretty serious," he said.
"The number of cases started to rise pretty dramatically.
"We still went to practice that night and decided we would train as normal for the following week, but they were starting to put restrictions on which businesses could open and that sort of stuff."
Blair, alongside two of his international teammates, decided by Friday that it was time to leave.
"(The president of the club) runs a transport business for disabled and elderly people. He got word from the government that they were about to put the whole country into lockdown," Blair said.
"He called me into the office straight away and booked flights on the spot. As we booked, the president of Spain declared a state of emergency.
We left early Sunday morning and got out just in time.Jannik Blair
"We left early Sunday morning and got out just in time."
Blair arrived back in Australia in eerie circumstances, returning home to Horsham and entering the mandatory 14 days of self-isolation.
"Now I'm back here and similar things are happening," he said.
"Hopefully the fact that we've got onto it earlier and learnt a bit from countries like Italy and Spain that are going through it pretty rough, hopefully it doesn't get to the same level."
In response to the pandemic, the International Olympic Committee announced that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics would be postponed by one year on Tuesday.
Blair said it was a sensible decision.
"It's been a growing stress the last few months with the escalation of the coronavirus," he said.
"It makes it hard to prepare in any decent fashion.
"So I think the fact that we can postpone it for a year will give a lot of athletes piece of mind. To take a bit of time to relax and properly self-isolate."
Blair said it was important to put the games in perspective during such a crisis.
"When you look at the scale of what's happening to the world ... it's a small price to pay," he said.
"Millions of people are losing their livelihoods, and many people losing their lives.
"We can now take some time, and hopefully when this blows over in a couple of months, we can start building up again."
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