Certainly when the Tokyo Olympics were postponed last year, we did not expect that there was a chance they would still not be able to take place in 2021.
Now, though, there is no guarantee that the Olympics will go on starting this July, but there is hope with the rollout of vaccines. The issue would be, though, the guarantee that everyone traveling to Tokyo for the Olympics would be vaccinated.
That's where Pfizer has come in - one of the manufacturers of the widely used COVID-19 vaccines. Yesterday, the International Olympic Committee announced that Pfizer-BioNTech agreed to donate vaccines to athletes participating in the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which are now scheduled for July 2021 (are we still going to continue calling them the 2020 Olympics though? I think so!)
The IOC President, Thomas Bach said about the donations: "This donation of the vaccine is another tool in our toolbox of measures to help make the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 safe and secure for all participants and to show solidarity with our gracious Japanese hosts."
The Olympics will not require athletes to have been vaccinated prior to playing the games, however they are encouraging all athletes to receive the vaccine before traveling and participating in the Tokyo Olympics.
Thomas Bach also said: "By taking the vaccine, they can send a powerful message that vaccination is not only about personal health, but also about solidarity and consideration of the wellbeing of others in their communities," in the release regarding the vaccine donations.
The plan is for the vaccine doses to be delivered to the home countries of the athletes at the end of May, to give them ample time to be fully vaccinated before they travel to Tokyo.
The Olympics are set to kick off July 23rd, and it looks like we are one step closer to assuring they happen. I guess we will just have to wait and see how things continue to go regarding the pandemic. It does seem like things are returning to normal more and more - but since this is an international event it is definitely harder to predict than something contained to a single country and the people who live there.
Which Olympic event are you most excited to watch (if they are able to return)?!
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