PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said tycoon Enrique Razon guaranteed the supply of COVID-19 vaccines for the country’s Tokyo Olympic bound athletes and coaches.
“We would like to thank Mr. Enrique Razon for providing our Olympics-bound athletes with vaccines,” Tolentino said on Tuesday. “Rest assured, our athletes would be protected from the virus as they escalate their training and preparation for Tokyo.
Filipinos qualifying for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics
Four Filipinos have so far qualified for the Tokyo Games — world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo, pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena and boxers Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno.
Yulo is in Japan, Obiena is in Germany, while Marcial is in the US.
Several other athletes are hoping to qualify particularly in boxing, karatedo, taekwondo and cycling.
“I’m sure that with the generosity of Mr. Razon, especially in these difficult times, would further spur our athletes to focus on the Olympics without fear of getting infected,” Tolentino said.
Razon, chairman of International Container Terminal Services Inc. and casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp., was earlier reported to be bringing into the country 20 million doses of the vaccine developed by US company Moderna.
The Moderna vaccine was reported to cost $26 each, or approximately P1,250.
Tokyo Olympics best chance to win gold for Filipinos
Tolentino earlier aired his belief that the Tokyo Olympics is the Philippines’ best chance to win its first gold medal.
“The time is now,” said Tolentino, also the PhilCycling president. “I believe that we are in the best position to win that Olympic gold—not one, but more.”
The Philippines started participating in the Olympics in 1924 and managed only 10 medals — three silver, seven bronze.
Tolentino also aired his confidence that the Olympics would push through despite escalating Covid-19 cases in Japan.
“I am a positive person. The Olympics will happen, the International Olympic Committee, and the host country [Japan] will make it happen,” Tolentino said. “We only have one plan and that is to win a gold medal in the Olympics. There’s no Plan B so let’s not even think that it won’t push through.”
The Tokyo organizers have released what they called a playbook on protocols for the Games to all national Olympic committees.