Coronavirus vaccines for national team members bound for the Tokyo Olympics will be covered by businessman Enrique Razon, the Philippine Olympic Committee said on Tuesday.
POC President Abraham Tolentino shared the news following his meeting with Mr. Razon, chairman of International Container Terminal Services Inc. and casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp.
“We would like to thank Mr. Enrique Razon for providing our Olympics-bound athletes with vaccines. Rest assured, our athletes would be protected from the virus as they escalate their training and preparation for Tokyo,” said Mr. Tolentino in a statement following his meeting with Mr. Razon.
The vaccines for national athletes and coaches are expected to come from the batch of mRNA-1273 vaccines developed by United States-based Moderna which Mr. Razon, along with other businessmen and organizations, is helping to bring into country.
To date, four Filipino athletes have qualified for the rescheduled Olympic Games, namely, pole-vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Caloy Yulo, and boxers Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno.
Local sports officials, however, expect that number to grow further with more athletes trying to qualify in sports like boxing, karatedo, taekwondo, skateboarding, golf, weightlifting, mountain bike and BMX cycling in the coming months.
Mr. Tolentino said the boost that Mr. Razon will provide to the national team will go a long way in its push in the Olympics, where the Philippines hopes to win its first-ever gold medal after nearly a century of participating.
“I’m sure that 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,” the POC president said.
“The time is now. I believe that we are in the best position to win that Olympic gold—not one, but more,” added Mr. Tolentino, also the president of the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines.
Training of Team Philippines for the Olympics is ongoing despite the uncertainties clouding the staging of the sporting spectacle because of the pandemic.
Officials said the athletes remain committed to their push in the Games and do well.