PH officials optimistic Games will go on despite growing opposition | Inquirer Sports

PH officials optimistic Games will go on despite growing opposition

/ 05:10 AM May 15, 2021

As Tokyo Olympics organizers try to fend off a groundswell of sentiments against pushing through with the Games amid the raging pandemic, a local sports official said there must be a discussion on whether the event needs to be canceled or postponed to a later date.

“It’s a delicate balance because our athletes are training for years, and this chance [of winning the country’s first Olympic gold] comes only every four years,” said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chair Steve Hontiveros.

“But it should be an issue [that needs to be discussed] because there are factors to considered like health,” he added.


For a majority of the Japanese population, however, the issue is already settled.


A petition to cancel the Games, which has gathered more than 351,000 signatures, was submitted to the city’s governor on Friday, with its main petitioner urging officials to “prioritize life.”

The online petition titled “Cancel the Tokyo Olympics to protect our lives” was launched earlier this month by Kenji Utsunomiya, a lawyer and former candidate for Tokyo governor.

POC president and Cavite Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino did not reply to messages seeking comment on the issue, but had earlier expressed optimism that the Olympics will push through.

Weightlifting president Monico Punetevella, meanwhile, believes that the Games must go on.

“Our athletes have trained hard for the last five years,” said Puentevella, whose federation has one of the current batch of eight Olympians in 2016 Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz.

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TAGS: Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Steve Hontiveros, Tokyo Olympics

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