Local paralympic hopeful Dave Innes was not surprised to see the news that Canada is pulling out of the 2020 Toyko Summer Olympic Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Well everyone, here it is, personally I think this is a smart choice on Canada’s part," said Innes.
The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee issued joint statements Sunday evening saying that they refuse to send their teams to Tokyo unless their respective games are pushed back, and are advocating for a year.
Innes finished third in the PR1 Men's Singles Sculls at the 2019 RCA National Rowing Championships in Burnaby, BC last September.
See related: Third place for Innes at Nationals
See related: Canada refuses to go to Tokyo 2020 Games
However, the 2018 Invictus Games Silver in the one-minute rowing event back in 2018 has elected to trade his rowing boat for a kayak as he now has his sights set on making Canada's para-kayaking national team.
"My opportunities with Rowing Canada kind of diminished for another year so I have staked out a provincial kayaking coach and transitioned into that sport," said Innes.
"There are way more opportunities in para-kayaking, it is still a fairly new sport as well. I am going to be able to kayak right out of the North Bay Canoe Club. I will have a coach there, that the provincial coach will give this coach my programming so it is just going to piece together a lot better. I think it is more of a sport that will suit me better, it is a power sport. It is just 200-meter sprints so it is just all power."
Innes was planning on joining Ontario's provincial para-kayaking team for a camp in Georgia and Florida in April. With the situation going on with COVID-19, that event is likely not going to take place.
Now, like many other professional and amateur athletes, Innes is working hard adjusting to a new training regiment in his home.
"Every athlete is in the same situation right now so when it comes time to get on the water, the athletes that are getting creative and that are putting in the time. and if I put in my time now - whether I am in a gym or not."
He hopes to continue to work hard at home until that time he can start training on the water.
"I have already gotten my whole summer training camps set when provincial and nationals are so that is my main goal right now is shoot for provincials, shoot for nationals and try to get on the national team and do this in a year's time for sure."