IOC pushes to ensure athletes are vaccinated

Skateboarder Sky Brown, 12, is set to become Britain's youngest-ever Summer Olympian.
Skateboarder Sky Brown, 12, is set to become Britain's youngest-ever Summer Olympian.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LAUSANNE • Some 80 per cent of athletes qualified for the Tokyo Olympics have already been vaccinated against Covid-19, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) pushing to raise that figure with just over a month to go before the start of the Games on July 23.

To assuage concerns that the event could become a super-spreader of the coronavirus, the IOC has championed inoculation, with more than 80 per cent of the 10,900 athletes expected in Japan having already qualified for the Games.

Olympics executive director Christophe Dubi said on Wednesday: "We announced 74 per cent (of vaccinated athletes) a few days ago, we are now well over this mark.

"What we are doing now is to contact every single National Olympic Committee and athlete and see where we can help. We continue the effort until we have contacted every single one.

"We have teams reaching out to all countries making their way to Japan."

A decision on whether local fans will be allowed to attend and in what capacity is set to be made later this month.

If permitted, they could see skateboarder Sky Brown in action. The 12-year-old is set to become Britain's youngest-ever Summer Olympian after being listed as one of 20 women's park qualifiers for the Games on Wednesday.

The 2019 world championships bronze medallist would replace swimmer Margery Hinton, who was 13 years and 43 days old when she competed in 1928.

But it remains to be seen if Brown and her fellow skateboarders will appear in the Australian city of Brisbane in 2032.

The IOC yesterday proposed that the city host that year's Summer Games.

The IOC's members will vote on the proposal on July 21.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2021, with the headline 'IOC pushes to ensure athletes are vaccinated'. Subscribe