Coastal Carolina University coach traveling to Tokyo to join Team USA

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CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — The director of track and field and cross country at Coastal Carolina University is headed to Tokyo for the Olympics.

“I’m really excited,” said Sandy Fowler, who will join Team USA as an assistant track and field coach. “To represent Team USA and everything that that represents in and of itself is phenomenal.”

Fowler was named to the position last year.

Because the pandemic forced her maiden trip to Asia to wait a year, her excitement level is higher than ever.

Kevin Davis, assistant athletic director for athletic media relations at CCU, shared Fowler’s excitement.

“We’re so excited for her to do that,” Davis said. “Just to see the excitement she had when she was named to that coaching staff was great. To have somebody that’s going to represent Coastal on the grandest stage of them all in the Olympics is just exciting for us as a department and a university.”

This will be her second Olympics. She was part of the Sydney games in 2000. While the circumstances of the games are different this year, Fowler said she was not going to pass up this opportunity.

“This could be a once-in-a-lifetime type of Olympics,” Fowler said.

Fowler is eager to be a part of the games, but her focus is on the athletes she will be coaching.

“I’m in this to assist the athletes,” Fowler said. “I can’t wait to see how they perform, what they do.”

Fowler has heard from teammates already in Tokyo and knows a little bit of what she can expect when she arrives. She has already submitted both negative COVID-19 tests required to travel. Once there, she will be saliva tested daily.

Fowler said Olympic organizers were right to postpone the games a year and have been clear that the games were going forward this summer. She feels confident about her safety in Tokyo.

“I feel pretty good about it,” Fowler said. “Everybody that’s over there says that the health and wellbeing of the athletes is definitely being looked out for.”

Fowler’s busy travel day starts on Saturday. She’ll have one domestic flight before taking a 13-hour flight to Tokyo. She’ll then have five to eight hours of processing at the airport before taking a two-hour bus ride.

Fowler will be confined to the Olympic village, team buses and event venues.

“I would love to see Tokyo,” Fowler said. “I’ve never been to Asia, so that, to me, [that will] be an exciting thing. Perhaps my husband and I will get ourselves back there.”

Fowler’s husband and her two dogs will stay home and cheer on Team USA.

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