Qatari legend Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah is usually busy plying his trade in rallying and shooting. But the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic has forced the three-time Dakar champion to self-isolate at home as directed by the government of Qatar. With many rallies either cancelled or postponed, al-Attiyah is spending quality time at home with his family and is being positive in this time of crisis. In an interview, al-Attiyah further revealed his love for cooking, on how he is keeping himself fit and urged people to stay active while being quarantined at home.
People have been advised to remain at home. What are your thoughts?
It is important for all Qataris and residents in Qatar to abide by the recommendations from the government to stay home and stay safe in the time being. The government is taking all preventive measures to stop the transmission of the virus, focused on one common goal, the safety and health of all people in Qatar.
Describe your day in self quarantine, what is your daily routine?
I am spending my time at home with the family and kids. As for the daily routine, I make sure I have a dedicated time for a home workout every day. I am also taking this chance to assist my children with their home schooling. Might surprise you that I also love cooking and taking some time to cook some recipes I love and even coming up with new ones.
What is your advice to residents
living in Qatar on how to maintain fitness at home?
It’s extremely important to stay active while in quarantine. Well-being is not something we should neglect at all. We can still workout at home if we have some gym equipment available. If not, we can always opt for body weight exercises or be creative in using some home items as a substitute. Sports is very important not only for our physical well-being, but also for our mental health as it’s a major way to help release the stress we are facing at the moment.
What other activities are you doing at home?
I always make sure to stay connected with the audience and my fellow athletes through my social media platforms on Instagram and Snapchat and we have our chats, share our daily routines and keep each other updated.
What are you doing stay in good form without competition?
It’s important to keep on looking at the positive side of things. As such, I focus on investing this time at home to take a look back at previous competitions and rallies I took part in and how can I make my sportive performance better when we are back into competition mode.
How did this lockdown and the cancellation and postponement of rallies affect your preparations for the season. And what are your ambitions and plans for the year?
It’s only normal that the preventive measures being taken globally now due to coronavirus are affecting sports in general and motorsports in specific for us. However, gratefully, we had started the year on a strong note with second place at Dakar Rally, first at Rally of Oman and Qatar Cross Country Rally.
We hope this global pandemic will be under control soon and countries and federation will quickly get back to organising rallies and competitions be it the Middle East Rally Championship or the FIA Cross Country Rallies World Cup.
Is the current period affecting athletes more or other people?
The pandemic doesn’t really differentiate between an athlete and another human. It’s a threat that targets us all. That’s why all people should take all precautions and preventive measures seriously, make sure to stay clean and healthy, and abide by the governments rules and regulations on the fight against this pandemic.
What are your thoughts on the postponement of the Olympics?
I am definitely a supporter of the decision taken by the International Olympic Committee in regard to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 to the summer of 2021.
This decision stems from the main concern of the IOC in regards to the health and safety of all athletes competing from all countries around the world and providing these athletes with the right and suitable competition environment for the Olympics experience to be a perfect one.
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