SHE was just months away from her first Paralympics.
However, Shoalhaven's Victoria Davies is happy to wait to make her Games debut.
Paralympics organisers announced this week the 2020 Games would be delayed until next August and September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Para-Equestrian rider Davies, the threat of contracting COVID-19 outweighs the importance of sport.
"I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis at age nine and, in August, I will celebrate my 36th birthday," Davies said.
"Self-isolation is nothing new to me, it is a method I have been forced to practice all my life.
"Over the years I have juggled this autoimmune disease very well by always fighting through the challengers it brings but also having a very fulfilling, active life.
"However, my life is surrounded by high risks.
"To put things in perspective, a simple cold can be life threatening due to my very weak immune system which is more fragile due to the cocktail of powerful medications I take to control the disease and give quality to my life.
"Without these medications I would not be able to get out of bed.
"I believe the right decision has been made for the health and well-being of athletes, teams, officials and all those that make the Games what it is.
"With the postponement, we now have clarity to know 2020 isn't our year and to prepare for Tokyo 2021."
Davies' qualification period for the Paralympics began in January 2019.
Since then, she had achieved her FEI qualifying scores with horses Celere and Andaluka Elegido. Her highlights included winning all five FEI Grade II Championships during the qualifiers.
Davies said she was the current number one ranked FEI Grade II rider in Australia and was ranked 12th in the world.
While she is in good form, the 35-year-old will now have to wait another 12 months to compete at the Olympics.
But that delay does include a silver lining.
"I will continue to keep thriving forward and train the best I know how to," Davies said.
"I am very fortunate that I have my horses on my own property and still able to care and train like I always have.
"Many countries have put bans on horse riding which I can't even imagine how these riders and athletes are coping when they cant even start to prepare for the new dates set for the Tokyo Paralympics.
"The IOC has confirmed those that qualified during the last qualification period will roll over onto this new criterion.
"The Australian Para Equestrian riders are waiting to see what the new selection policy will entail.
"I have recently purchased a horse which I had aims to be my mount for the 2022 Worlds and 2024 Paris Paralympics.
"However, with the Tokyo Paralympics being pushed back, this may give me the opportunity to present this new horse which is very exciting."
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