International athletes face challenges amid Covid-19

Lele’s Talk
Lele’s Talk
Published in
2 min readSep 28, 2020

The beginning of Covid-19 struck Southeastern Louisiana University in March 2020, affecting all students, but some more than others. At Southeastern, there are many international student athletes.

The international student athletes all are from different countries such as: the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and The Bahamas. These students already face different challenges once they land on campus. They deal with traveling, language adjustments, new people and now Covid-19. This current pandemic has changed a lot for these students.

Since these are student athletes, they mainly came down here to accomplish one thing , which is their sport and finishing college. Donovan Storr is a track and field athlete from The Bahamas who discussed this situation.

“I always look at the bigger picture I’m here on a mission and the goal is to come for what I’ve set out to accomplish,” said Storr.

While dealing with Covid-19, many missed their families but sadly not able to travel home.. Most of their families were worried sick about this alarming pandemic being televised all over the world. Another track and field athlete named Charlotte Wissing who is from Germany commented on this topic.

“I know that my family is doing the best they can to stay safe and healthy and they know I do the best I can. When Covid started I did not fly home immediately because the airports were so busy. I waited about a month and then flew home,” Wissing commented.

Flory Berima, a tennis player at SLU who is from the Netherlands also commented.

“I’m in my junior year right now so I’m used to being away from my family for a while now but this is the first time I haven’t seen them in eight months. The plan was to go home in May, but my flight cancelled so I had to choose between staying here or going home with a chance I might not be able to come back in August. It was a hard decision,” Berima noted.

Every decision they make during this time will be hard. If the decision is wrong,it could change their life dramatically. Coming to the United States for such an opportunity is something many athletes overseas dream of but Covid-19 has other plans.

For each sport in the fall season, none of the teams played. The plan is to start off the season in the spring. The only concern is if the virus gets worse. During this time Covid-19 isn’t completely gone, in Louisiana it’s just hitting stage three. These students practicing everyday could still be a risk.

Each day these students practice and get ready for the season, but that could also be affecting their health in the current pandemic. One soccer player from Spain, Carla Cortina said she is currently quarantining. “One of my teammates tested positive for Covid today and I have to quarantine for 14 days,” she said.

Everything about Covid-19 is unpredictable. That is why as a country we have to stay strong and push through. These international students are just one of many who are being affected by this virus’s wrath.