Athletes on guard, but still business as usual in Olympic Village


Posted at Jul 21 2021 01:59 PM | Updated as of Jul 22 2021 08:08 AM

Athletes on guard, but still business as usual in Olympic Village 1
A security officer stands guard near the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Athletes' Village in Tokyo, Japan, July 19, 2021. Naoki Ogura, Reuters

Even as Tokyo remains under a state of emergency, it's business as usual for Olympians inside the Athletes Village.

This, according to Dr. Randy Molo of the Philippine Sports Commission's Medical and Sports Science Unit, who serves as the physician to Team Philippines at the Tokyo Olympics.

"The athletes approach each day as a regular one, but they don't let their guards down," said Molo.

Molo said athletes go about their business with "guarded optimism" inside the 44-hectare Athletes Village, located in Tokyo's Harumi Waterfront district.

"They bring their chairs into the open, grass field and they soak up the sun. You see athletes jogging or cycling, but with the usual masks and social distancing," he added.

"They are moving around freely, but of course, with the usual protocols that we have been used to in the Philippines, social distancing, use of face masks," he added.

Ahead of the Games, Filipino athletes have been enjoying themselves inside the Village. Skateboarder Margielyn Didal even goes around the facilities on her skateboard.

The Olympic athletes have everything they need inside the Village -- including different types of meals to choose from as well as massage therapists that can be arranged online.

The cardboard beds, which were reported to be "not sturdy enough for sex," also got a thumbs up from Filipino athletes.

"Ito agad tinignan ko pagdating sa Athletes Village, matibay ang cardboard bed. Galing ng pagkagawa nito, salungat sa trending post," said Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who is competing in her fourth Summer Games. 

Athletes, coaches, and officials undergo saliva testing for COVID-19 daily. 

Olympic organizers are hoping that the Village can be a COVID-free bubble, but there have already been five cases reported ahead of the official opening ceremonies on Friday. Two South African footballers, a video analyst, a Czech beach volleyball player, and a Czech Olympic staff member were those who reportedly tested positive.

The Games got underway on Wednesday, with Japan winning the first event -- an 8-1 rout of Australia in women's softball, which took place in Fukushima with no spectators. 

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