EL NUEVO DIARIO, SANTO DOMINGO. CRESO and the Dominican Olympic Committee (COD) are working together on developing an outreach program to aid athletes’ families as well as their neighbors”. So expressed Felipe Vicini, CRESO Chairman during the third Virtual Meeting, hosted on Sunday by the COD, through the BlueJeans Virtual Platform.
“This 100-meter race has become a marathon”, Vicini said, whom also stated that the outreach program aims to join hands with those most in need. During his dissertation in the virtual meeting, hosted by Luisín Mejía, COD Chairman, Vicini remarked the good health condition of all athletes, and how he has had the opportunity to follow up closely on their training to stay in good shape.
“Despite everything having been called off, they need to keep in mind that when everything resumes its natural course, the preliminaries to the Olympics will be underway. They must remain focused”, the businessman expressed, after defining the COVID19 pandemic as “a blockade” towards making it to Tokyo.
The meeting with the high-performance athletes, which took place on the BlueJeans Virtual Platform, was hosted by Luis Mejía Oviedo, where Vicini attended as Guest Speaker, and featuring the participation of former Judo champion María García, whom serves as liaison between the Sports Ministry and the Athletic cluster.
Some 27 athletes from different disciplines confirmed their good shape, by stating that they train from home due to the pandemic. García, a silver-medal winner of the 2014 Veracruz Pan-American Games, and currently the liaison between the MIDEREC and the athletic cluster, advised to all fellow athletes to continue training at home, and exhorted them to take all precautions to avoid being infected with the coronavirus.
“Follow the rules so this pandemic can end soon. Let’s be heroes one more time, but this time, by staying home, not just for ourselves, but for our families, and the whole athletic movement” the Judo champion stated. Dominican athletes in the U.S., Austria, Russia, Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic had the chance to report how their confinement is going in their current location. The report by ping-pong player Yasiris Ortiz and karate champ Sasha Rodriguez caused great shock when they informed that in New York, a great number of people step out without any PPE gear, including senior citizens.
Besides Ortiz and Rodriguez, other athletes currently abroad who attended the meeting are Nikolay Arango, Karate; based in Florida, and diver Frandiel Gomez, who is currently in Kazan, Russia; as well as Jonathan Ruvacalba, based in Guanajuato, Mexico. Also present in the session, were Eva Brito, ping-pong, from Puerto Rico; Jean Montero, Basketballl; from Spain, and Jasmin Gibus, Handball; from Austria. Also present were Luguelín Santos, track-and-field; Alejandra Aybar, Paralympic swimming; Patricio López; swimming, and weightlifters Zacarías Bonat, Crismery Santana, Beatriz Pirón, Luis García and Verónica Saladín. Also, among the attendees were boxer Leonel De los Santos, karate champions Karina Díaz and Franchel Velázquez, Ana Rosa, judo; Nancy Peña; Handball, and Karina Fermín, modern pentathlon. Luisito Pie, Taekwondo; Geraldo Castro, Paralympic Taekwondo; and Adeuri Cornial, Sailing, were also present.
These virtual meetings headed by the COD Chairman are hosted every Sunday as a team-building initiative with all in-country athletes as well as those abroad, to learn of their current confinement conditions, caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Mejía Oviedo announced that next week, Sports Minister Danilo Díaz will join the forum. Mejía Oviedo, also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), showed signs of hope that soon a clearer scenario of the world and of sports in general.