Filipino athletes unfazed by Zika virus scare


Filipino Rio-bound athletes are unfazed by the threats that could possibly disrupt the Olympic Games slated on August 5 to 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Our athletes don’t allow themselves to lose focus,” said Philippine Chief of Mission Joey Romasanta, who went to Bangkok, Thailand last week for a commission meeting.

One of the threats to more than 10,000 athletes from over 200 countries in Rio is the deadly Zika virus—a mosquito-borne infection, spread by aedis aegypti mosquitoes and transmitted through unprotected sex.

Recently, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that to encourage safe sex, it will distribute over 400,000 condoms, three times more the amount distributed during London Games in 2012.

Besides the Zika virus, the security of participating athletes is also being questioned after three members of the Spanish sailing team were robbed at gunpoint in a tourist area in Rio de Janeiro, where they have started training ahead of other competitors.

“Peace and order is also a concern. The Spanish sailing team was held up on way to practice,” added Romasanta.

Another concern is the threat of terrorism, which according to Romasanta, is always present in any international event such as the Olympics.

“The threat of terrorism will always be there,” he said, adding that Brazil has asked all participating countries to provide at least two security officers for their contingents during their stay.

Taekwondo jin Kirstie Alora said that she won’t let any threat distract her from achieving her goal, which is to bring pride and glory to her country.

“We focus on giving our best and going for the gold. That’s the aim,” said Alora.


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