How Canadian surfer Bethany Zelasko is doing during the coronavirus

Published 2020-05-04 15:01

Beaches in hometown were open until last week

Bethany Zelasko was supposed to be finding out this month if she would be representing Canada at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

But since the Games were postponed because of the coronavirus, the 20-year-old surfer is stuck at home, like everyone else.

But for Zelasko, staying “home” hasn’t meant abandoning her sport.

Zelasko lives in Dana Point, California, and until last Friday, the beaches in her hometown were open and she was surfing twice a day.

“I just feel really blessed to live somewhere where we're still able to do that,” she told CBC Kids News before the beaches were shut down.

Canadian athlete Bethany Zelasko surfs at a beach near her house in Dana Point, California. (Submitted by Bethany Zelasko)

Zelasko was born in the U.S. to an American dad and a Canadian mom.

“My mom is from Vancouver,” she said.

Zelasko has dual citizenship and represents Canada at international events.

Future uncertain for athletes

Surfing was one of several sports set to make its debut at the Olympics this summer.

But Zelasko’s future in the sport is still up in the air as athletes around the world hit pause on their training while they physically distance.

“I was nervous at first but, you know, I'm talking to my team manager and he was like, there’s nothing you can do,” she said.

A woman surfs in the ocean

Bethany Zelasko surfs it up in Dana Point. (Submitted by Bethany Zelasko)

She was supposed to attend a qualifying competition this month, but it’s been postponed.

“I'm focused on myself and I’ll see what they do. No one knows what’s going to happen.”

In the meantime, she’s finding other ways to stay busy, like making jewelry, playing the ukulele and the guitar and making a crocheted blanket with her mom.

A woman wearing silver hand-made earrings

Zelasko made these earrings recently. (Submitted by Bethany Zelasko)

To stay motivated, she has this advice for kids who are stuck at home during the pandemic:

“If you can’t get out and do your sport, find other things to do…. Don't stay in bed all day, that’s one of the worst things you can do. It’ll make you cranky and feeling no sense of accomplishment…. Try to do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment, whether you’re doing chores or cleaning your room or whatever.”

Favourite song right now: The Tide Is High by Blondie. Favourite coronavirus snack: Cheese, olives and sometimes carrots and crackers. First thing she wants to do when physical distancing is over: Go out to eat in a restaurant.

Check out these other articles about what Olympic hopefuls are doing during COVID-19:

Top photo: (Silvia Izquierdo/AP Photo, Allison Cake/CBC)

About the Contributor

Arjun Ram
Arjun Ram
CBC Kids News Contributor
Arjun Ram is a Grade 11 French immersion student from Hamilton, Ont., with many diverse interests such as sports, music and math. Arjun has developed an interest in reporting on social and political issues as well as important developments in the area of professional sports. He hopes to one day work as a news anchor for CBC.

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