Dear Mr. Lungarini,
I am senior at New Canaan High School, and a member of the swim team. I have spent the past 12 hours coping. Coping with the fact that as of FCIAC finals last week, I am done competing for my high school team. Forever.
Never again will I lead out a post-practice cheer, ride the bus with my teammates, or put on a New Canaan cap. Never again will I line up for the medley relay to open a meet with my brothers. Never again will I walk on deck at 5:30 on a Saturday morning and see all of the people who have brought me joy for the entirety of my time on this team, and think to myself- this is exactly where I want to be.
Because the culmination of our season, the precipice that represented all of our hard work, the blood, sweat, and tears that this team has shed over the past 3 months, has vanished. With the click of a few keys, with the discussion of the high and mighty CIAC staff members who hold themselves so highly that the athletes go from hearing not 1 rumor of cancellation to the loss of their state tournaments in 24 hours, our seasons are over.
The seniors are incredibly impacted by this. It has taken all day for the magnitude of this situation to set in, and its setting in hard. I am already dreading the drive home tomorrow — I’ll pull out of the parking lot, get onto South Avenue, and drive right past the YMCA. I’ll look longingly and watch 3 years of memories flutter by, the pool where I should have 3 more weeks of memories to make, but now don’t.
I understand the concerns regarding COVID-19. I understand that the safest route is to cancel the entire tournament. But that is far from reasonable. The athletes and coaches alone are not a large enough population to threaten our health. Especially given the ages affected by COVID-19.
The teenage athletes who are in the best shape of their lives are not the ones at risk here — it’s the spectators. Attached below is a petition that I’m sure you’ve seen by now. It has nearly 80,000 signatures, and a logically outlined plan to keep the dreams of hundreds of high school athletes alive. I beg you to reconsider your decision. I am not sure that you fully recognize what this means to us athletes, even if you feel like you do. All I can do is ask for a compromise. It would mean the world to me, my teammates, and every CIAC winter athlete.
New Canaan High School Swim and Dive
This letter was sent to CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini. It is unedited.