THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has ordered its team of sports psychologists to help athletes cope up the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics.
PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez has instructed agency’s sports psychology unit to assist athletes – especially those who already qualified and still trying to qualify for the Olympics – after the Tokyo Games was moved at least for next year due to the growing threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
“(We want) to actively check on our athletes and conduct guidance counselling (online or by phone for now) for our athletes who might need their support given the challenges which resulted from these developments,” said Ramirez in a statement on Wednesday.
On Tuesday night, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach agreed to postpone the Tokyo Games and hold it instead not until late of the summer of 2021.
Four Filipino athletes who already clinched a berth in the Olympics are currently in the thick of their training. World gymnastics champion Carlos Yulo's training camp in is Japan, while pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena is based in Italy. Boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno are based in Cavite and Baguio, respectively.
Other Filipinos trying to qualify for the Tokyo Games include Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, judoka Kyomi Watanabe, world champion Nesthy Petecio and the rest of the boxing team, taekwondo team, rowing team, the 3x3 men’s basketball squad, swimming team, golf team and karate team.
The PSC chief believes the move to put off the holding of the Olympics - originally set to start in July 24 - is the best decision possible.
“I have always expressed that I favor its (Olympics) postponement, given the way this crisis seems to be taking,” said Ramirez. “As I have mentioned before, safety and health of everyone is a top priority.”
The PSC chairman however, assured that “implications on the budget will remain manageable.”