Japanese fencer Ryo Miyake has turned to Uber Eats as a means to maintain his fitness and make some money while the 2020 Olympics is on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 29-year-old athlete, who won a silver medal in the men’s division at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, had a few sponsors backing him but said his conscience wouldn’t let him take sponsorship money, according to Reuters.
“It is still unclear how and in what situation I will become an Olympian,” he said on Tuesday. “I thought it was a little impudent to receive support in such a situation, so I told them (sponsors) to hold (sponsorship) for the time being.”
Gyms in Japan are also closed as a result of the lockdown, which prompted Miyake to find a way to maintain his fitness.
That’s what prompted him to turn to Uber Eats. Miyake, who has been delivering food for the past two weeks using his bicycle, only earns about 2,000 yen ($18) a day.
Adding his daily income to his savings, he said the money he has is enough to survive during lockdown without using his sponsorship money.
“Now I am digging into my savings for a living, so I have to earn money by myself,” he said. “I also thought by doing Uber Eats delivery, it can prevent my physical strength from weakening.”
Miyake also added that the chances of him contracting the virus while doing deliveries is very low as the only interaction he has with other people is when he picks up the food.
“The risk of getting infected with the coronavirus is low,” he said. “Although you might think you have a lot of contact with people because you deliver goods, as recommended by the application I put the food in front of people’s doors and there is no contact. The only time I have contact is when I pick up food from the restaurant’s staff.”
In February, the International Olympic Committee announced it would assess the situation on whether the spread of coronavirus warrants the cancellation of the event. Their decision was originally set to be released in May.
A month after the IOC announcement, Canada and Australia announced their refusal to send their athletes to the games that were supposed to start on July 24 if the committee continues with the Olympics this year.
The IOC and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe officially postponed the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
With the cancellation and lockdown, Miyake said he doesn’t know when he will be able to train again with a sparring partner.
“Fencing is a sport that doesn’t fit with the current situation because we can’t practice without having people gathered together,” the athlete said. “This is really regrettable. I want to restart with a situation where everyone can train freely and without any concern.”