Lost in the cancellation of March Madness, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, and every schools spring football schedule has been the fate of one of USC’s most successful athletes in school history.
Louise Hansson is a senior swimmer for USC who saw the end of her final collegiate season come to a swift end due to the coronavirus pandemic. She was set to defend her NCAA titles in the 100- and 200-Butterfly before the governing body canceled all winter and spring championships back on March 12. To add insult to injury, the 2020 Summer Olympics, set to have taken place in Tokyo starting July 24, were officially postponed until 2021 at the earliest.
LOUISE HANSSON. That’s it, that’s the tweet. pic.twitter.com/QeSFbloV0a— USC Swim & Dive (@USCswim) February 29, 2020
Hansson was selected back in January as a one of six athletes selected across three different sports to be a part of Sweden’s Olympic team. This summer would have been her second appearance at an Olympics, following up her time in Rio De Janeiro as a 19-year old four years ago. During her time in Rio, Hansson dealt with some lingering shoulder problems and she left those games feeling like she wasn’t able to give it her best shot. She also felt like she couldn’t completely focus on Rio when she knew she was headed directly to college immediately following her first olympic games.
So obviously, putting in four years of blood, sweat, and tears only to find out a couple months from the finish line that she’ll have to wait an extra 12 months to compete in those games.
Hannson is going to leave Southern California with as the school’s record-holder in five different events, including the 100- and 200- fly, 100- and 200-free, and the 100 backstroke. She was also a member of four relay teams that hold school records in the 400- and 800-free and the 200- and 400-medley.
As of now, Hansson is trying to decide what she’s going to do in the short-term. Her original plan was to fly back home in August following the Olympics but now she’s got a lot of free time on her hands. In an excellent piece by Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the LA Times, she details how incredibly frustrated Hansson is about the whole situation. She’s consistently looked up flights back home but can’t ever seem to pull the trigger.
In a world where no one knows exactly what to do, Hansson is stuck scrambling for a sense of normalcy in her life. It’s a feeling that she shares with every other human being who feels displaced by the current pandemic. But like the rest of us, she’ll have to trust that everything is going to be right when all of this finally blows over.