Tokyo 2020

2020 was supposed to be the pinnacle of my diving career. 

Everything that I had done in the past three years was leading to that one, very special year, and my first Olympic Games.

 Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

 When it became clear that the Tokyo Games would not go ahead, I struggled at first to maintain positivity and motivation, but I overcame these struggles and I am now training hard with a clear focus once again.


Control what you can

Resilience is a key attribute for anyone performing at an elite level, whether that be in sport, business or any other field.

During the past year, being resilient has been more important than ever. With all the uncertainty about the Olympic Games and the availability of training facilities, it would be very easy to get drawn into a negative mindset that would impact on my training and performance.

Maintaining resilience requires work.

Self-awareness was the first step for me. Making sense of how I felt and what it meant and being okay with that. Events were being postponed at the last minute, then cancelled, then re-scheduled. It was frustrating and made it hard to maintain focus. There was so much uncertainty but one thing I knew was that I was accountable for myself. Once I had accepted that no one had any answers, I had to make sure I did everything I possibly could to be ready for any competition when it came so that I could look back and know I had given it my all.


We’re all in this together

It has been a difficult time for everyone and I am no different to anyone else. Accepting that and trying to plan (as much as possible) has been a great tool for me. The plan wasn’t necessarily about training or the Olympics but planning something to look forward to. Sometimes, it was a walk with my Dad and getting a hot chocolate, or other times it was planning a nice takeaway. Planning something that I knew would make me feel happy and giving myself something to look forward to through the week when I might be struggling was vital in maintaining a positive mindset.



This has never been something that has interested me, or that I have been able to give myself over to. But I tried different ways. Sitting and listening is hard for me- I get bored and distracted very easily!

I tried different podcasts and apps and I did paint-by-numbers while I was listening. I found that I could concentrate on what was being said much better while I was busy painting compared to just sitting and listening, and it was really helpful to maintain that level of awareness and focus.

Through the lockdowns, I had to be creative with my training regime as the pools were closed for much of the time, so a lot of my training took the form of home workouts. I was following a similar training schedule to what I would do in the pool. That meant two sessions most days!

I liked to maintain the structure because it gave me purpose during a time when there wasn’t much else going on. I was not too strict on myself about when the workouts had to be done, but I would always get them done! I found that I liked to get up and do one early session to set me up for the day, ensuring that I felt fresh and productive.

Getting one session out of the way early in the day meant that I had a lot more freedom for the rest of the day. Often that would mean sitting in the sun and enjoying the little things. I read so many books this year, with the weather being so good for us through the summer, I spent almost all day outside either exercising or sunbathing!


Even Olympians take breaks

As I was keeping up with a strenuous training regime, it was important to make time for some self-care. Honestly, most of that self-care came in the form of sunbathing but I also took up online Pilates classes and I do love a bath and face mask! I find it hard to take a day or a session off but I learnt that I just needed to listen to my body. Some days, it was better for the end goal to take it easy or have a rest day rather than pushing through. Looking after both physical and mental wellbeing has been a key factor in coming out the other side, feeling good and performing well.

Clare Cryan

Clare Cryan

Clare is a member of the Republic of Ireland diving squad and will be heading to Japan to compete in the World Series in a couple of weeks, ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo later in the year.

Career highlights:
  • World Championship Finalist 2019
  • Fina Grand Prix 3m Silver Medalist
  • Fina Grand Prix Mixed Synchro Bronze Medalist with Oliver Dingley
  • Personal Best: 300.75 3m Springboard