01 Apr 2020

Doha, 1 April 2020. Dealing with the COVID-19 virus has changed a lot in our daily lives. Aspire Academy graduate and high jump world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim shared his thoughts on the current situation, dealing with isolation, the effects on sports and the importance of complying with the rules introduced by the government in an exclusive interview with that is worth to be shared.

People have been advised to remain at home amidst the coronavirus lockdown, are you complying with the rules and what your thoughts?
Mutaz Barshim:
Yes, I am complying with the rules, when it comes to health and safety nothing else matters.

Why should everyone pay close attention to Qatar government's advisory on staying at home at a time like this?
Because it’s a matter that concern us all and we need everybody’s collaboration and support, we need to be united to overcome this situation.

Do you think the change in daily habits due to coronavirus will affect the people’s behavior even after the lockdown is resolved?
Yes, I believe so, but I think it will change things for the better. The situation, as bad as it is health wise, it brought everyone closer together and think this will continue to be the case even after recovery. It’s like humanity has been given a new life, and the humankind will stop taking everything for granted moving forward.

Describe your day in self quarantine, what is your daily routine and how are you investing this time at home in something positive?
Nothing special really. I start my day with praying, training and using the time to do some activities at home. I clean my office, decorate the house, play games and now I can say I have more time to answer more emails.

What is your advice to residents living in Qatar on how to maintain fitness drills at home?
You still can do so many things at home. Trainings and activities at home are still an easy option when staying in. Even if it’s just 1 hour a day make sure to stay active.

What other activities are you engaged in at home that you would like to share with your fans?
I am doing a lot of painting, putting paints up the wall, and well, cooking.

Since athletes need international competition to stay in top form, what will you do stay in good form without competition?
For the moment I can do nothing to replace competitions, but we are all here in the same situation. We just have to keep on training until we can compete again.

Esports is becoming more popular as people observe the stay at home call to curb the covid-19 spread, what your thoughts on the popularity of esports?
I don't know much about e-sport, I’m not big fan of video games.

Share some games that you are playing, and you would recommend for the audience during this period?
Monopoly, Cards, Jenga, and Uno. These games allow for more and better-quality times with family than video games. 

Is the current period affecting athletes more or other people and how?
The current situation is affecting everyone, but different people from diverse work fields and professions, each are suffering from the impact this virus is having on our lives.

Do you think Olympic Games will be held? What if they are postponed? Would it be a good thing for you?
The IOC has announced that the Summer Olympics will be postponed to summer of 2021. I just need to prepare myself and keep on training harder like all my fellow athletes are doing.

Lots of big milestones await you this year in competitions. How do you evaluate the current situation amidst all the cancellations and postponement? And what is the effect on sports globally?
I will do my best on the things I can change and try to stay healthy and prepared. I would prefer not to distract myself with things and situations that are out of my hand and stay focused on training.

How does the current situation affect your training schedule and the preparations to be ready for your bog milestones this year?
Mutaz Barshim: I can’t do my normal trainings these days, its new situation we just do our best and hope for the best.

Source:, 29 March 2020


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