How Metro Detroit Olympians are preparing for a much different Summer Games

The Summer Olympics are four months away.

Friday, we learned that overseas spectators will not be allowed to attend the games in Tokyo, but athletes are still preparing for the games to go on as planned, because it’s the only way to train.

Amanda Chidester is an St. Frances Cabrini High School graduate, a Michigan alum and a 2-time Big 10 player of the year. Wolverine fans might remember her home run in the College World Series during her freshmen year.

We met her in November 2019, as she trained in Howell for her first Olympic Games. In early 2020, Team USA had just started its tour when the pandemic hit.

“Once we got sent home, we were in the dark. No one knew anything,” Chidester said. “They told us to stay ready. ‘We’ll pick it back up when things got better.’”

There was a lot of uncertainty for all Olympic athletes in 2020. When the Tokyo Games were rescheduled for 2021, Chidester said it wasn’t even a question if she would participate, even if it meant putting her life on hold for another year.

“It prolongs everything. Getting a real job and being able to create a stable lifestyle,” Chidester said. “At same time, you’re living great life of being a professional athlete, an Olympic athlete.”

What’s better than one Olympic athlete? Two in one household. Chidester got engaged in November to Anissa Urtez, who plays for Team Mexico.

The two will compete against each other this summer. They’re aiming to win two medals.

“We will support each other no matter what and be happy for each other, no matter the result,” Chidester said. “That’s probably going to be harder said than done. There’s so much more to our relationship than softball. We both want to medal. We’re going to have each others backs. No matter what.”

RELATED: How Metro Detroit olympians managed to keep training through COVID pandemic

About the Author:

Jamie anchors sports coverage on Local 4 News Saturdays at 6 & 11 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m., in addition to hosting Sports Final Edition.