8News’ Natalie Kalibat talks COVID-19’s impact on student-athletes

Sports

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — During a time when everyone is feeling the effects of COVID-19, student-athletes at the high school and collegiate level are no different.

8News’ Sports Anchor Natalie Kalibat, a former Division 1 athlete, says before she jumped in front of a camera as a sports reporter, she was jumping into pools. Her hard work earned her a scholarship and a spot on the Swim and Dive Team at the University of Southern California.   

For years, Kalibat had the same routine. Speaking to 8News evening anchor Constance Jones, Kalibat revealed, “I would have two-a-day practices. So, I would start bright and early, wet hair, going to class, going back to practice, getting wet again, then going back to class.”  

During her college career, Kalibat’s team at USC won its first-ever PAC-12 Championships.  She also won the 2012 United States Olympic Trials for Synchronized Diving. 

Kalibat told Jones she sees herself in the student-athletes she interviews. It’s why she sympathizes with many competitors whose careers are on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

8News’ Sports Anchor Natalie Kalibat, a former Division 1 athlete, sat down with 8News’ Evening Anchor Constance Jones to talk about the impact of COVID on student-athletes.

“I think they are feeling a lot of anxiety,” Kalibat said. “I think this is a time where athletes may feel lost.”

Kalibat offers some words of advice for young athletes, trying to cope with the pandemic. “Find other athletes that you can talk to,” she said. “This is a hard time.”  

Nowadays, Kalibat is never too far away from the pool.  She serves as both a mentor and a diving broadcast analyst.  She told 8News she hopes others can use the downtime to re-evaluate their sports goals.

“Focus on what you can control,” Kalibat said. “That’s just ourselves right now.”

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