Enrique Razon to Cover Vaccine Costs of Philippine Olympic Athletes
The pandemic might still be present, but Filipino athletes are training around the clock to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics while battling worries of catching the COVID-19 virus. But now they have one less thing to worry about: getting—and paying for—the vaccine.
Businessman Enrique “Ricky” Razon will cover the vaccine expenses of the Philippines’ competing Olympians, as well as their coaches, according to the Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham Tolentino.
"We would like to thank Mr. Enrique Razon for providing our Olympics-bound athletes with vaccines," said Tolentino. “Rest assured, our athletes woultd be protected from the virus as they escalate their training and preparation for Tokyo."
The Olympics has been postponed until August, 2021, however qualifying events are still pushing through in order to determine the Olympians that will compete in Tokyo later this year. As of February, the Philippines already has four Filipino athletes heading to the Olympics: EJ Obiena will compete in men’s pole vault, Carlos Yulo in artistic gymnastics, Eumir Marcial in men’s middleweight in boxing, and Irish Magno in women’s flyweight in boxing.
The number of 2021 Philippine Olympians—and their coaches—is expected to increase as more qualifying tournaments take place. The country aims to send around 15 Olympians to Tokyo, all of whom will receive a COVID-19 vaccine shouldered by Razon.
"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," said Tolentino.
The 2020 Olympics has been postponed numerous times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with July 23 to August 8 is the latest schedule coming from the organizing committee. But the date is still subject to change.
Japan is currently facing 2,000 cases per day and has recorded over 400,000 cases in total. While vaccinations in Japan will begin later this month, there is public clamor to reschedule and even cancel the games due to fears that the influx of athletes from around the world will cause another wave.
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