World champion stand-up paddler Michael Booth has suggested the break caused by the coronavirus pandemic may benefit athletes in the long-term and allow them to extend their careers.
The Australian athlete made the claim on the International Canoe Federation (ICF) podcast How Sport Stars Cope in COVID-19 Lockdown.
Booth suggested that the break in training and competition due to the lockdown could enable athletes' bodies to enjoy a long recuperation period.
He said the break had also enabled him to have a renewed focus on the sport.
"I've been taking it a bit easy, I guess prolonging my paddling career because I'm not on the grind again until next year," Booth told the podcast.
"This would be the first year that I've been in the same place for longer than one to two months, so it's a blessing in disguise to be able to have a bit of a relax and take training a little less seriously.
"As hard as it was at the start, I just sat down and thought I could either feel sorry for myself or I could seek new opportunities and just get on with it, and that's what I've chosen to do instead."
"Coming into the start of this year, and even coming into the start of last year, it was challenging to get started again," Booth added.
"I was thinking, maybe I don't really want to do this, maybe I want to do something else.
"Now I really want to get out there and race others.
"Because I've had this break, I want to do it more.
"It's a blessing in disguise to be able to have a bit of a relax and take training a little less seriously."
Booth is the reigning ICF stand-up paddle distance world champion.
The ICF has clashed with the International Surfing Association over the ownership of the stand-up paddle discipline.
Both bodies have been locked in a protracted legal dispute on who runs the discipline which is due to be settled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.