Prisilla Rivera extends career


SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, April 4, 2020 - Prisilla Rivera has changed her plans to retire from volleyball. The 35-year-old now aims to stay on for an additional year to help the Dominican Republic women's national team to success when they participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.


The team's captain applauded the decision to postpone the Games to protect the health and well-being of the people involved while begging her Dominican compatriots to stay at home to avoid the spread of the coronavirus in the country.


“My plans were to retire after the Olympic Games, which implied retiring in 2020, but this (the coronavirus) has altered the life of everybody, not only me, because many athletes like me also had plans to call an end to their careers this year, after the Olympics,” Rivera said in a telephone interview with Nuevo Diario, a daily newspaper in Santo Domingo.


“Nowadays you have to wait and see what’s going to happen, as each day brings its tasks and in one single day anyone’s life can change. For me it changed in one night, imagine one year,” said Rivera, whose only daughter Megan died in February, forcing Rivera to leave her team in Hungary.


Rivera, who was a member of the Dominican teams that played at the 2004 and 2012 Olympic Games, is taking one day at a time, literally.


“My life has changed so much on a personal level that today I only focus on living day to day. You don’t know what the next day will bring but I am optimistic and understand that in general we will be able to overcome this situation and personally I am going through a painful process of acceptance and adaptation," added Rivera.


Going back to the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Games, now scheduled from July 23 to August 8, 2021, the outside hitter considered that “it seems the best thing to do in the light of the prevailing world situation with COVID-19."


Questioned about whether the change of date works in favour of the Dominican team's chances, Prisilla said: "If it favours us or not, that’s something that we really can’t say, because all the teams will be on equal terms. I understand that once everything is normalised, we will have to go back to work hard to make up for lost time and continue to focus on going to the Olympic Games to give all we have.”