Dick Pound feels that the vaccination is vital for the Olympics to proceed in time this year.
A senior member of the International Olympic Association (IOC) has called for athletes to be given priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine, so that the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics can go ahead as planned later this year.
It is Dick Pound, the long-time IOC official who said that the Olympics will happen as long as athletes can get quick access to the vaccine. “It’s a decision for each country to make,” he told Sky News. “And there will be people saying they are jumping the queue, but I think that is the most realistic way of it going ahead.
“In Canada where we might have 300 or 400 hundred athletes – to take 300 or 400 vaccines out of several million in order to have Canada represented at an international event of this stature, character and level – I don’t think there would be any kind of a public outcry about that.”
Meanwhile, as the pressure mounts on the IOC regarding the Olympics, they are not the only group expressing interest in the vaccines.
British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Anson also told Sky News that he held talks with the government in a bid to get athletes and support staff access to vaccines. However, he also added that there are other, more important people who need it more than them. “I think everyone would agree that the priority is the people who need it most; the front-line workers, the elderly, those with health issues,” he said.
“There will come a time, hopefully in late spring/summer ahead of the Olympic Games when the athletes can be vaccinated. But we’ll do that when it’s appropriate and when the government feels it’s appropriate,” Anson concluded.