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Business as usual inside Athletes Village




TOKYO — It may be a State of Emergency in Japan, but it’s business as usual inside the Athletes’ Village of the Summer Olympic Games here.

Team Philippines’ physician Dr. Randy Molo of the Philippine Sports Commission’s Medical and Sports Science Science unit,  revealed this to media men during breakfast at the Conrad Tokyo, secretariat headquarters of the delegation.“The athletes approach each day as a regular one, but they don’t let their guards down,” said Dr. Molo.

According to the Team Philippines’ doctor, athletes go about their businesses 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,” he said. “You see athletes jogging or cycling, but with the usual masks and social distancing.”

The athletes have everything they need inside the village — from 48,000 kinds of meals to choose from to massage therapists, that can be arranged online.

The most fun from among the 14 Filipino athletes staying inside the village is skateboarder Margielyn Didal, who goes around the facility using her skateboard.

“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,” Dr. Molo said.

Athletes, officials, and coaches numbering 6,700 inside the village undergo saliva testing for COVID-19 daily.

He also revealed that Irish Magno is back to her training as if nothing happened after the boxer suffered a soft tissue contusion during her skip-rope training session.

“Nothing serious, she’s back training with the rest of the boxing team,” said Dr. Molo.

The Athletes Village has been hogging the spotlight lately, from several participants testing positive of the virus, to “cardboard beds that are not sturdy enough for sex.”

“Ito agad tinignan ko pagdating sa Athletes Village, matibay ang cardboard bed. Galing ng pagkagawa nito, salungat sa trending post,” said 4-time Olympian Hidilyn Diaz, silver medalist during the Rio Olympics.

Olympic organizers are hoping the village can be a COVID-free bubble, following the release of their so-called “Playbook” rules on how athletes should move between competition venues, training centers, and their accommodation.

But this has not been the case after five COVID-19 cases were discovered in the Village–two South African footballers, a video analyst, a Czech beach volleyball, and a Czech Olympic staff member.

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