ALTHOUGH Italy-based professional cyclist, Teniel Campbell currently resides in the country with the highest mortality rate for covid19, she remains well-protected and credits her safety to staff members and teammates of her women’s pro club, Valcar Travel & Service.
Campbell described Italy’s nationwide lockdown as a “zombie apocalypse” with nearly all citizens told to stay home to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. Despite these measures, the number of new cases and deaths continues to rapidly increase.
Even though the 22-year old road cyclist will not be competing on the European circuit until the authorities decides to have its restrictions lifted, Campbell is using this time to catch up on some well-deserved rest while maintaining both indoor, and limited, outdoor training.
“When the races started cancelling my coach said to enjoy pizza, gelato and a movie as we must take our foot off the gas. I did just that and looked at it as an early mid-season break, so of course, I gained weight. I still train, eat, eat a bit more when I am bored, sleep and repeat,” she stated.
Campbell and her teammates are premitted limited time on their bikes outdoors but must be properly attired with face masks and other protective gear. Valcar Travel & Service has also provided its athletes with documentation to prove themselves as professional athletes in the event they are questioned by authorities.
“My team ensures that I am okay and try their best to keep me happy as they know this a challenging period,” stated Campbell. “My coach even invited me to come stay with his family during this period but I declined as I preferred to use this period to self-reflect and work on some things because it’s extremely quiet at times,” she added.
The two-time Pan American gold medallist admitted this experience has helped her mature in different ways, as she uses her time to focus more things off the bike. However, Campbell believes her training is crucial during this period.
“Now, my mind is re-wired and is preparing to be ready for the unknown. This is just the reality and is the current situation in which all athletes are undergoing. Nobody knows when is the next race, so it’s unclear what to train/prepare for. You must simply be ready to strike whenever it’s all clear to race again,” Campbell continued.
She also advised the public to remain calm amidst the global pandemic and urged social medial users to stop from spreading false information and creating panic by posting inaccurate articles and data on covid19.
“I try my best to stay off of social media especially in the early phases as the majority of articles and post were about the virus and races constantly being cancelled. It was better for me to not see these things as I was constantly hearing about the effects it was causing. I’m good though,” she concluded.