Invictus Games athlete forced to get creative like many others during COVID-19 outbreak
EDMONTON -- The coronavirus outbreak is forcing athletes and workout enthusiasts to improvise, including a former member of the Canadian Military who hopes to attend the Invictus Games in the Netherlands.
“I think at this point people need to start thinking outside the box,” said retired Sgt. Greg Van Olm.
Last week, he won gold in powerlifting bench press at the U.S. Marine Corps Trials in San Diego. He’s now forced to work out in his garage in Edmonton after the provincial government issued a ban for all Albertans attending public recreational centres and private gyms.
“When I’m able to get an increase on one of the lifts on bench it’s kind of like a eureka moment,” said Van Olm, who won the Marine Corps Trials event by benching 365 pounds. He can bench over 400 pounds, but athletes are not allowed to plant their legs in the event for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel. That makes benching much more difficult.
“It’s definitely a learning curve,” adds Van Olm, who recently retired from the military after 12 years of service.
“I had hip issues, shoulder problems, back. Mental health issues ... and they just added up,” said Van Olm, who now hopes to represent Canada at the Invictus Games.
There is speculation the event set for May could be cancelled because of COVID-19.
“Invictus is still happening in my mind so I’m going to keep pushing forward,” said Van Olm. And that means pushing more weight in his garage.