Quarantraining: Olympic athlete from Gaffney finds a way to stay on track


GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – 7 News spoke with an Olympic athlete whose training is now on hold due to the Coronavirus.

She’s now back home in Gaffney, but she’s still finding ways to stay in shape while quarantined.

“I love running. I run every day,” Leah Fair said. “It just releases natural endorphins and makes me feel good.”

Leah Fair, who used to be a track star at Gaffney High School, is now a member of Team USA.

“This is where all of my dreams happened, where the seed was planted,” she said about Gaffney High. “So, it’s so cool to come back to where I started originally.”

For the past year, Fair has been training for her new sport: Skeleton.

“We ride down a one-mile ice track on a sled, head two inches off the ground, at 90 miles per hour,” Fair explained.

Those ice tracks are now closed due to COVID-19, adding a hurdle for Fair as she still has to stay in shape.

“You can’t be overweight with your sled–or under–and the sled weighs about 80 pounds,” she said.

And, while her Alma Mater’s track is much different than an Olympic-style ice track, Fair told 7 News it’s still helping her, because her new sport requires a lot of the same training she did back in high school.

“I still have to lace up in spikes,” she said. “I’m still sprinting. I still use sprint mechanics.”

Fair told 7 News, even in quarantine, she’s staying on track by sticking to a strict five-days-a-week workout routine.

“I’m actually in the best shape I’ve ever been in, during Corona, because it’s the only thing I have to do,” she said. “So, every day, I look forward to going to work out.”

Fair now has a message for other affected athletes and friends who are stuck at home.

“Keep the faith and keep staying strong. It will be over soon,” she said. “You have to look at the positives and have gratitude for everything that you do have.”

For her, that includes quality time with her family, like her new favorite workout partner: her little brother.

“We should take this time to reset and not look at it as a back-setter; and then I feel like we’ll be able to move forward,” she said.

At this point, Fair says she’s unsure if or how the Coronavirus might impact the Winter Olympics. Right now, they’re still scheduled to happen in 2022.

Fair told 7 News she will be the first African-American in the country to participate in the sport Skeleton at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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