PSC welcomes Tokyo Olympics delay, mobilizes psychology unit for athletes
For Philippine Sports Commission Chair Butch Ramirez, the safety and health of the national athletes remain as the agency’s top priority, especially during these extraordinary situations.
So when the International Olympic Committee announced that the Tokyo Olympics this July has been rescheduled, the PSC chief felt relieved that Filipino athletes won’t be subjected to the threat of contracting the deadly coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“I have always expressed that I favor its postponement, given the way this crisis seems to be taking,” said Ramirez.
“As I’ve mentioned before, the safety and health of the athletes remain our primary concern,” he added.
Tokyo was supposed to hold the Olympics on July 24-August 9, but Japan organizers and the IOC heeded the call of delaying the quadrennial global games for one year.
“The postponement to next year is a good option hoping that the virus will diminish,” said Ramirez, the Team Philippines chef de mission who led the country to the overall title of the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year.
“The lost opportunities and money spent for our Olympic preparations are manageable,” added the Philippine Sportswriters Association’s Executive of the Year.
Pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo and boxers Irish Magno and Eumir Felix Marcial have already booked their spots in the Summer Games, all of them aiming to capture the country’s first Olympic gold medal.
Another 62 athletes from 18 sports are looking to join them in Tokyo, including Rio De Janeiro Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, golfers Miguel Tabuena, Yuka Saso and Dottie Ardina and judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, among others.
The qualifying tournaments of these athletes have been postponed indefinitely due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Ramirez, the PSC sports psychology unit will spearhead a counseling process to counter anxiety, depression and frustration among athletes brought about by the situation.
“Guidance counseling will be in place. We have mobilized our sports psychology unit to actively check on our athletes and conduct counseling through online or by phone for our athletes who might need their support given the challenges which resulted from these developments,” said Ramirez.
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