MANILA – Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Butch Ramirez rued that a para athlete would not be able to compete in the Tokyo Paralympics after testing positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“I was very sad about it at iyak nang iyak iyong tao but talagang wala. Hindi natin kontrolado si Covid eh (and the para athlete cried a lot but there’s nothing else we can do. We cannot control Covid),” Ramirez told the Laging Handa public briefing on Monday how he and the affected para athlete reacted upon finding out the sad news.
Ramirez said the para athlete, who was told to stay home for recovery, has already been vaccinated against Covid-19 and underwent two reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests as part of the protocols set by the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee.
The Philippine Paralympic Committee, led by Mike Barredo, confirmed that some coaches and some other delegation members tested positive for Covid-19 too before flying for Tokyo and remained at home for treatment.
Despite this, Ramirez believes that the Philippine Paralympic team would be even more determined to capture the Tokyo Paralympic gold despite the late Covid-19 scare that hit the squad ahead of the Tokyo Paralympics, which will start on Tuesday.
“I’m sure that the five athletes minus one will consider what happened to their colleague as a strong motivating factor to really come home with the medals,” Ramirez further said. (PNA)