Business tycoon Enrique Razon has guaranteed to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for athletes and coaches bound to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino disclosed this Tuesday after a meeting with Razon, chairman of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp.
“We would like to thank Mr. Enrique Razon for providing our Olympic-bound athletes with vaccines,” Tolentino said.
“Rest assured, our athletes would be protected from the virus as they escalate their training and preparation for Tokyo.”
The country has so far four Olympic qualifiers in world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.
But more athletes are still gearing up for Olympic qualifiers in the coming months particularly in boxing, karatedo and taekwondo.
“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.
Early reports said Razon would be bringing 20 million doses of the mRNA-1273 vaccine developed by United States-based Moderna to the country, which cost $26 each (around P1,250).
The development is a big boost for athletes seeking Olympic berths and training for the Olympics.
Tolentino believes the upcoming Olympics would be the country’s best chance of winning that elusive first Olympic gold medal.
“The time is now. I believe that we are in the best position to win that Olympic gold—not one, but more,” Tolentino said.
The country started participating in the Olympics in 1924 and managed to win three silvers and seven bronzes.
The last Olympic medal won by a Filipino came from weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who bagged silver at the 2016 Rio Games.