DELAYED by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Summer Games aims to open this year from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo.
Our athletes have been training on and off for the summer games. Several celebrated Filipino athletes already secured their slots. Tokyo bound are Ernest Obiena (Pole Vault), Carlos Yulo (Gymnastics), Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam (Boxing), and Hidilyn Diaz (Weightlifting).
After the summer games, our Filipino athletes will look forward to the 31st SEA Games from November 21 to December 2, 2021, in Vietnam.
In a Covid-free world, these are supposedly significant events celebrating human interaction and fraternity. Incidentally, Covid-19 has forced organizers of both events to rethink their approach in the conduct of these games.
Vietnam has reportedly cut its hosting budget, and Japan has been incurring expenses for the upkeep of the different venues since its delay.
Our athletes have been training for both games, but our dynamic Covid-19 response and cases have hindered their preparations. Lockdowns and budget constraints have been affecting their practices.
The PSC has been very open in its expression of support for these athletes. However, they can only do so much opposite the regulations and restrictions imposed by the IATF on movement, organizations, etc.
In celebrating human interaction and fraternity, sports has been a front runner.
However, the threat of Covid-19 is also genuine. India, in recent days, has been devastated by deaths from the virus. The Philippines has breached the 1 million mark of Covid-19 cases two days back.
Aside from Covid-19, civil and political tensions are happening all over Myanmar, the disputed seas, political turmoil, racism, hunger, poverty, etc.
What these games will provide will be a temporary distraction from all of these.
Once the games are done, we will still be confronted by these threats.
As a show of our brotherhood and humanity, perhaps we can reconsider the conduct of these games and allocate resources for Covid-19 response, especially in third world countries. Resources that can help secure the vaccines and fund further researches to combat the pandemic.
End territorial disputes, political turmoil and focus on the needs of the people for food, clothing, and shelter.
In these trying times, we need fewer distractions and more genuine concern for our fellow human beings. Sports can make the way by considering this option of realigning resources for the greater good of humanity.