CANADA’S Olympic wrestling champion Erica Wiebe has said frontline workers and vulnerable people should be prioritized over Olympic athletes for the novel coronavirus vaccine.
Senior Olympics official Dick Pound said on Friday athletes should be given priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine so the Tokyo Games can go ahead as scheduled from July 23.
Over 15,000 athletes from almost every country in the world are expected to travel to Tokyo for the Olympics and the subsequent Paralympics.
“I think the Olympic movement stands in its purity for a lot more than just putting athletes on stage to entertain the world,” Wiebe told CBC.
“The most important people that need to get the vaccine are front-line workers, those most at risk and people in long-term care homes — they are the ones that need to be prioritized.
Canadian gymnast Kyle Shewfelt, who won gold at the 2004 Athens Games in the men’s floor exercise, echoed compatriot Wiebe’s comments, saying the vaccine is “liquid gold.”
“From a moral standpoint, it doesn’t sit right (with me),” Shewfelt said. “They (athletes) are already healthy, they’re in an age bracket that hasn’t been shown to be super vulnerable to fatal outcomes from this disease.