A total of 23 Team Singapore athletes competing across 12 sports will be at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and arrangements are being made to ensure their well-being and safety, said Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law on Monday (5 July).
Mr Tong was responding to a question from Workers’ Party (WP) MP Sylvia Lim on the progress of preparations for Singapore’s participation in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister said: “The support teams have been planning and coordinating the athletes’ training and participation these past months.”
“For example, since the end of the Circuit Breaker period in 2020, MCCY has worked closely with the health authorities and many of the National Sports Associations (NSAs) to put in place training arrangements so that our Tokyo-bound athletes can continue their training at the National Training Centres and other designated venues, with strict Safe Management Measures (SMMs) and other safety protocols in place to ensure their health and safety, even as they train hard and prepare for the competition.”
MCCY and the Ministry of Health have also been working closely on the vaccination plans for the athletes, coaches and officials who need to travel abroad for qualification events and major games competitions.
So far, all but one of Team Singapore athletes and officials headed to the Olympics have been fully vaccinated, said Mr Tong, adding that the remaining individual will complete the vaccination regime by next week.
The ministries are also working to ensure that Singapore’s para-athletes and officials headed to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics are fully vaccinated as well.
Aside from that, the MCCY is also in contact with the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG) on its COVID-19 countermeasures to keep athletes safe.
These include restricting spectators in stadiums and arenas, limiting athlete interactions, pre-departure testing, mask-wearing, daily antigen rapid tests, and the use of health reporting and contact tracing apps.
Additionally, acrylic partitions will be installed in the dining hall where food will be served in individual portions during allocated mealtimes to reduce crowding.
“The organisers have also designated hospitals with 24-hour emergency services and care facilities for COVID patients should the need arise,” said Mr Tong.
Not only that, the Team Singapore contingent will also be issued travel kits comprising a supply for surgical grade respirators and masks, protective face shield and disinfectants. They’ll also be given a microbial surface spray to pre-treat their clothes and equipment.
When in Tokyo, the team will be supported by a joint Games Secretariat comprising staff from SportSG, SNOC and SNPC, who will oversee the daily movement and well-being of all members of the contingent.
“The contingent is supported by a medical team led by the Chief Medical Officer and comprising sport physiotherapists from the Singapore Sport Institute (SSI), Public Healthcare Institutions (PHIs) and the private sector, as well as sport scientists and psychologists from SSI,” said Mr Tong.
While Team Singapore is in Tokyo, SportsSG has set up an operations centre in Singapore to monitor developments and keep in touch with the contingent and their well-being.
Mr Tong stressed, “I wish to assure the Member that Team Singapore’s well-being will be our priority, and we will continue to be vigilant and adaptable to changes, as the Games progress.”