Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino stood firm with the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to push through with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics despite protests among locals.
“As member of the IOC, nag-iisa direction namin with the IOC, matuloy and kayang ituloy with all the COVID countermeasures. Hindi ako puwede tumaliwas sa direction ng IOC,” said Tolentino on Tuesday, May 25, at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum.
(As a member of the IOC, we are in a unified direction with them that the Olympics will and can push through with all the COVID countermeasures. I cannot stray away from their direction.)
The Tagaytay representative also added that the upcoming Tokyo Games might be the Philippines’ best chance for a historic Olympic gold.
World champion gymnast Carlos Yulo, 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, and boxing world championships silver medalist Eumir Marcial lead the country’s Olympic dream.
“At besides, baka ito na chance natin for first gold. Bakit naman ako aayon doon sa gusto ng ibang CEO na Japanese na i-cancel. Marami na silang gold na nakuha and may kaya naman sila, eh tayo third world ‘di pa nakatikim ng gold, sayang kung hindi matutuloy,” added Tolentino.
(And besides, this might be our chance for a first gold. Why should I agree with what the other Japanese CEO say about the cancellation. Japan has a lot of Olympic golds and they have the capacity, while third world countries like us haven’t gotten a taste of the gold. It’ll be a shame if the Olympics didn’t push through.)
Japan is currently battling a surge of coronavirus cases and Tokyo is under a state of emergency.
The public sentiment in Japan widely opposes the staging of the Olympics, including Softbank CEO Masayoshi So, who also slammed the country’s “slow” vaccination program.
The Philippines currently has nine qualified Olympians – Yulo, Diaz, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, boxers Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio, and Carlo Paalam, rower Cris Nievarez, and taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa. – Rappler.com