Michelle Bromley had tried and failed three times to make the Australian Olympic Table Tennis team, but in January - on her fourth attempt - her dream finally became a reality.
Michelle achieved top ranking in a gruelling three-day qualification event to earn her spot in the Australian side destined for Tokyo in July.
However, as fate would have it, Michelle will have to put her dream on hold for a while longer.
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads and tighter restrictions are being put in place around the world, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Wednesday to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games to 2021.
Following the announcement The Australian Olympic team took to Twitter to share a supportive message and athlete reactions to the postponement.
"The date my change, but the goal remains the same," the post said.
The Mudgee Guardian caught up with Michelle following the news to find out what the delay means for the former Gulgong resident.
Michelle said she saw the postponement coming but it didn't make it less disappointing.
"Oh, yeah, [it's] totally devastating, obviously for me, like I would have jumped through a million hoops to be able to have the July games go ahead. That's me being selfish wanting to live out my dream," Michelle laughed.
"I totally, totally get the health side of things for the public and the athletes given this virus is going totally nuts. I would have been open to a closed games, if that's what it meant. Obviously, that was yeah. It was ruled out early, I think in the discussions. So for me now, I would be happy with a postponement for 2021 pending obviously, you know, in my mind, they should then be honoring the positions of those that have already qualified."
The delay means athletes have an extra year to prepare but will miss other planned meets, and social distancing rules has forced Michelle to resort to alternative training options as athletes are stuck without indoor sporting facilities.
"I think this whole virus, to be honest, has already disrupted everyone and the lead up that we were going to have," Michelle said.
"So even if the July games were to go ahead... we had World Championships planned we had two events playing overseas, all of these lead up events that are actually not even possible now given the current climate."
Michelle said she's lucky to be able to keep training at home in her converted garage she has dubbed 'Bromley Arena' where she trains against a table tennis robot that spits balls out at high speed.
When Michelle qualified back in January, her family was quick to book flights and accommodation for Japan. She said they're all hopeful that come next year, Michelle's qualification will stand.
"So my whole immediate family we're planning - [they] had already booked all their flights and accommodation for Tokyo in July. So that will be a nightmare to sort of work through.
"They've just got their fingers and toes crossed that, you know, the qualification spots get honoured all the way through to whenever it's postponed to.
"Obviously, everyone's pretty disappointed because we all had a few months to go to live out this dream and now it's looking like it's quite a fair way away."
In a joint statement from the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, they said the decision to delay the games to next year was to protect the health of the athletes, Olympic Games staff and the international community.
The Olympic Flame will stay in Japan to serve as a symbol of the "light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present," the statement said.
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