SAN JUAN – The president of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee (Copur), Sara Rosario, assured Efe that the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will be held, despite the covid-19 pandemic, and that at the moment, none of the 22 classified local athletes, has given up attending and competing in them.
“I think that in the end the Games are going to be held,” said Rosario in his office in San Juan, six months after the 2020 Olympics were held in the Japanese capital.
Rosario, the only woman to preside over the Copur, indicated that although “it is too early to define” if the main plan of the organizing committee of the 2020 Olympics and the International Olympic Committee (International Olympic Committee) is to keep the competition standing, both groups they would be making “difficult and drastic decisions.”
“But at some point I think that the Games should be held,” he said.
And given the rumors about its possible cancellation, the Government of Japan insisted on Thursday on its idea of holding the Olympics. scheduled for this summer in the Japanese capital, despite the seriousness of the pandemic situation in the country and in the rest of the world.
“I am determined to organize a safe Games while working closely with the Tokyo metropolitan government, the (2020) organizing committee and the IOC,” said Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan during his appearance at a session of the upper house. of the Japanese Parliament.
Suga reiterated that the Games should serve “as proof of humanity’s victory against covid-19”, the message that the Japanese authorities have been waving since last March it was decided to postpone the Games for one year as a result of the pandemic, initially scheduled for summer 2020.
According to Rosario, the organizing committee of the Olympic Games and the IOC have several plans to continue the event despite the health situation, such as that all athletes are vaccinated, that they travel to Tokyo with a negative result for the virus with 72 hours in advance and test the competitors once they are in the Japanese capital.
“We know that vaccines are being very scarce and that some countries have not reached. We are blessed that we have been vaccinating the population here for a month. But yes, the idea is that as many participants as possible are vaccinated, ”said Rosario.
Another of the alternatives that have been proposed so that the Olympic Games continue to stand despite the pandemic, is that there is no public in the stands, both in the events that are held in closed and open structures, similar to the “bubble” style. like the NBA did last season.
“Athletes really deserve the opportunity to be in these Olympics. They have trained many years for this. This is the dream of many of them, one that could be their first chance and probably the last one in their life, and that alone should be a compelling reason for the final decision to postpone the Games indefinitely ”, reflected Rosario.
Similarly, Rosario assured that “no athlete from Puerto Rico has shown concern or speculation about going or not going to the Games.”
“For them, ranking and participation is an important goal in their lives,” he added.
Puerto Rico already has 22 athletes classified -17 women and 5 men- for Tokyo 2020, and seeks to surpass the 40 competitors that it took to Rio 2016.
“Our projection remains intact. This is painting a more feminine delegation, just as it happened in Rio, ”said Rosario.
There are still 90% of Puerto Rican athletes to qualify.