Athletes preparing for the Tokyo Olympics will get shots of the Pfizer vaccine, this publication has established. According to the president of Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC), Colonel Botsang Tshenyego, the athletes will receive the shots before the end of next of week. Tshenyego noted that the Pfizer vaccine is the one most preferred by the International Olympic Committee.
“It is the most international vaccine and we have confidence in it,” he said in an interview with this publication on the sidelines of a BNOC media engagement this week. “We also have confidence in it because it is used by First World teams that are going to the Olympics. The IOC has also offered all delegations the Pfizer vaccine, but the government has agreed to help us with it in our case.” The IOC recently accepted an offer of COVID-19 vaccines for Tokyo-bound athletes and support staff from Pfizer and BioNTech ahead of the Tokyo Games.
The Olympic Games will be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. They were originally set to take place from 24 July to 9 August but were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, speaking at the media engagement, Colonel Tshenyego said BNOC has successfully conducted its organisational restructuring exercise. “A big part of it was carried out during the new normal of working from home,” he told journalists.
“This coincided with the most extended games preparation camp in our history. This was partly necessitated by our ambitious targets for Tokyo 2020 and the need to keep athletes in some form of a bubble to mitigate the risk of contacting the COVID- 19 virus.”
The BNOC president went on to state that the NOC secretariat did not let the COVID-19 pandemic disturb them but worked hard to keep and improve their service level. “They mostly did that remotely,” said Tshenyego. “Staff partnered with volunteers and conducted virtual training of volunteer sports administrators, which is a first-time development. “True to our commitment to being an athlete-centric organisation, the training courses targeted mature athletes and prioritised female participants. This was in line with our strategic goal of fostering inclusion and gender equality in sports, which we are also pursuing in our 2021-2024 strategic plan.”