REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Normally, training for Olympic beach volleyball would require being at the beach.
But these days U.S. National Team player Tri Bourne's weekly routine involves a virtual session with his athletic trainer.
"He's helping me, just to take advantage of this time so when we come out of it, our bodies are on point and ready to go," Bourne said.
When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports, Bourne was more mentally prepared than many other athletes. That's because he had to leave beach volleyball for two prior seasons after he was diagnosed with the rare auto-immune disease called dermatomyositis.
"The skills that I learned during that time when I was out of the sport, are coming into play now again, because the sport has been taken away from me and everyone else now," he said.
Although he may not currently be able to play his sport, going to the Olympics has long been Bourne's goal.
Before he got, he narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2016 Rio Games.
Once he was well again, some two years later, he started training for Tokyo.
He was out on the FIVB World Tour back in March when the pandemic forced him to come home.
"Everything just stopped, so we put our whole off-season training in to play one event," he said.
Despite the setback, Bourne feels he was equipped to handle what was out of his control.
He's trying to stay focused on his health and taking care of his body with USA Volleyball's head athletic trainer Mike Martinez.
"You look at any elite athlete, and you've been preparing years and years in your lifetime to play in this one event," Martinez said.
Martinez's goal is to make sure Bourne has every opportunity to bring home a gold medal when he does make it to the Olympics.
Their sessions are a virtual rehab, to make sure the time spent at home doesn't turn sedentary, and that he stays mobile and flexible.
"As they go back to train every day in their garage, in their backyard, wherever it is, is that so they are doing it safely and reducing their risk of injury," said Martinez.
As Bourne works out during this time, he no longer takes anything for granted, and that includes the unknown future of the sport.
In terms of the domestic tour, he maintains faith in the AVP and its owner Donald Sun.
"He's gained my trust in the way he's gone about things," said Bourne. "And I think he's going to prioritize keeping his tour afloat."
As someone who's made it through hard times and came out stronger, Bourne he feels his sport will too.