Monday March 23 will go down as one of the more surreal days in the career of Blake Govers.
With uncertainty growing over the status of the Olympic Games, the Kookaburras were called into a meeting prior to training at their Perth base.
Tensions were already high, with some players anxious about the prospect of being shut off from their families as Western Australia's border lockdown loomed.
And as COVID-19 continued to spread like wildfire across the globe, stress levels were rising about the disease's impact on Australia's tilt for Olympic glory.
So, as the Kookaburras meeting commenced, the players received the message they had been dreading for weeks, but many deep down knew was coming.
The Australian Olympic Commission would not be sending a team to Tokyo in 2020. Instead, athletes have been told to prepare for a 2021 Olympics, with the International Olympic Committee likely to be forced to delay the Games.
For Govers, the news was hard to take.
"It's gut-wrenching," Govers said. "We were in the last stretch preparing for the Olympics.
"We've been in the unknown for a while now. We got told the decision this morning, there was a lot of disappointment in the room.
"There was also a feeling of relief, we have been told what's going on. We had seen other sporting codes stop, we were questioning what we should be doing as a sport.
"It's still pretty raw, but our focus shifts to the coronavirus and what we can do to help the community."
Read more: Australian sport's COVID-19 state of play
The AOC confirmed their stance on Monday, the release coming shortly after the IOC finally conceded they were considering postponing the Games and the Canadian Olympic Committee announced no Canadian athletes will be competing in Tokyo in 2020.
AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said it was time to provide the country's athletes with certainty just four months out from the Games.
"We unanimously agreed the Australian Olympic team could not be assembled in the changing circumstances both here and abroad," Carroll said.
"We have to look after not only just our athletes and officials, but also their families, who are feeling concern for their sons and their daughters.
"What's most important is it gives certainty. It gives certainty to the athletes, it gives certainty to our sports, and that's the most important thing, that's what they needed."
Govers is one of many lllawarra athletes to have their Olympic dream halted, with Emma McKeon, Emma Tonegato and Saya Sakakibara among medal contenders.
All competitors had spent the past couple of months training through the uncertainty, optimistic coronavirus would die down and have no impact on the Olympics.
Now that is no longer the case, Govers said the athletes have a responsibility to do their bit to support those more affected by the virus.
"The mood was pretty down when we heard the news," Govers said. "We decided to make the most of our meeting, reassess and evaluate how we can help the community in any way.
"We don't know what the Olympics looks like moving forward. It's a scary situation to be in, the unknown. But there's a broader issue going on here, we want to do our bit to support those affected."
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