Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee calls for support for athletes who are preparing for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. In some countries, the pressure on athletes is increasing to opt out of the Games due to the corona pandemic.
“It’s very painful to do it to the individual athlete,” said Ikee. “Even if you ask me to speak out against the Games, I cannot change anything. I would therefore ask my fans to warmly watch over the athletes who work hard, regardless of the situation.”
In Tokyo, the state of emergency was extended on Friday due to the corona infections. But according to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Sugadie, it is still possible to hold the Games in the city in July. John Coates, vice president of the International Olympic Committee, also underlined this. According to Ikee, the athletes will accept what the organizers decide. “If the Games continue, we will of course do our best and if not, we will do it next time.”
Ikee qualified for the Games after recovering from leukemia.