President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, said despite the controversy surrounding the staging of the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he believes it is important for stakeholders to come together and ensure that the Games are held successfully and safely.
Speaking on an online Rotary Club of Downtown Kingston meeting yesterday, Samuda said the JOA, the athletes and the International Olympic Committee, should be prepared to combat adversities and safely execute the event.
“We have demonstrated as a country that we can put on an event that is inkeeping with standards and inkeeping with safety protocols brought on by the pandemic and that in the midst of the pandemic, sport can thrive,” Samuda said.
“Athletes go to work everyday just like us. They go with the expectation that when they work, money will be in the bank to feed their families and their children, so by the sweat of their brow they eat and they participate and we enjoy in the comfort of our offices.
“So should the Olympic movement give into viral invasion or should it pick up arms against the enemy in sport in fighting the battles on the way to winning the war?” Samuda quipped.
Samuda noted that even before the global health crisis, he had always emphasised the need to always be ready .
“Even before the virus I have said on many occasions that a seasoned soldier must always be equipped, ready, and able to face square, adversities. So despite the result and challenges of this pandemic, psychologically and economic, we should be on the alert and be well-conditioned for the assignment,” said Samuda.
KEEP ATTENDANTS UP TO DATE
He added that the JOA would keep attendants up to date and informed going into the event but believes that from all indications, they have no reason not to attend.
“Should Japan in the face of the public calling for the cancellation of the Games and now protests select wisely and fight political battles, or should the government stand with clenched fist on the principle of athlete actualisation on the coming on stage of the greatest international stage of sports?
“The JOA has a right and a duty to advise itself about all the factors in deciding on the journey to the destination being pursued,” he continued. “To date, with all factors being considered, we continue to prepare for that journey. It is our policy as an apex governing body, so we won’t be caught flat-footed