The Hard Hits UHH Athletes Experienced due to COVID-19

By Courtney Waldfogel and Alexi Jimeno

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted all of our lives in 2020. The academic world learned how to adapt to these circumstances, to help students continue to succeed and obtain their goals. However, such adaptations were not as easily accommodating to the athletic performances of team sports. Here are a few words from some of the UH Hilo athletes and how COVID-19 has impacted their lives.

Jackson Fuller: “I would say it impacted me by extending my eligibility for baseball. Not only that it extended my education, which is frustrating because I could have finished college much faster, found a job, and moved on with my life. But with COVID extending eligibility I still come back to play for the love of the game. It’s a love hate thing for me right now.”

Chris AubortChris Aubort

“I have been blessed with the opportunity to play college baseball for 5 years at the University of Hawaiʻi [at] Hilo. The pandemic has changed all of our lives as we know it, and has forced us to adapt in order to accept the changes we all face. As a student athlete there was an incredible amount of uncertainty we had to manage throughout COVID. In March of 2020 we were 15 minutes away from boarding our flight for a road trip to northern California; and our season got canceled in the airport right before our flight. The pandemic has been tough for everybody, but I try to think of the positives as I look back. Since the pandemic, I have built a lot of good habits that I will look to take with me into the next chapter of my life. I will sure miss baseball but the life lessons and memories I will take with me for the rest of my life.”

“It was definitely tough for the team physically and mentally to sit out a whole year without competitive baseball, but the friendships and memories made is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.”

Brett KomastuBrett Komastu

image of Alexis LacyAlexis Lacy

“I think COVID has impacted my life as a student athlete in a couple ways. First it was very hard to have no in person classes, the only time I felt like I was getting out of my room was to go to practice. This affected me a little bit because I felt like I was always in my room. It also affected me because we would have to get COVID tested weekly for practice, or if we were traveling for a game, we would have to get COVID tested before leaving. We were always stressed out hoping that we weren’t positive so we could still travel. However, I think Hawaiʻi has done a good job to keep us all together through this tough time and my team and my coaches have made sure that we all stick together.”

Alex Carmona: “COVID has made it harder to actually be able to retain and learn new information from classes I have taken. When COVID first hit it made it really hard to be able to go to the gym or train because of the social distance.”