There is only one month left to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and this particular edition poses a challenge like no other, according to Chef de Mission, Low Teo Ping.
Chefs de Mission Low Teo Ping (right) and Ho Cheng Kwee during the Team Singapore Rio 2016 Olympics Media Briefing at Singapore Sports Institute. Photo: Sport Singapore
Extraordinary challenges require extraordinary preparations, and that is exactly what the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) and Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC) have done. To be completely ready for the Olympics, which officially kicks off on 5 August, the SNOC and SNPC have unveiled a slew of measures to put to rest any potential health and safety concerns.
“This Games, in particular, is quite unlike all the other Games I've been involved with, especially in the lead-up. It's a Games that, on top of the sports events, has also financial, politics, security and economic concerns,” Low said.
In light of security concerns, athletes have been advised to travel from “bubble” to “bubble” between the Olympic venues where 24-hour security would be provided.
In addition to a cocktail of vaccines that all athletes would have already been given, preventative measures and items will be given to athletes in the form of a backpack, so as to ward off worries about mosquitoes and the Zika virus.
“We are including in the pack, self-aids, which are things like insect repellent, which we have gone to great lengths to make sure it is effective,” he said.
Chef de Mission Low Teo Ping holding the insect repellent that will be given to Team Singapore athletes. Photo: Sport Singapore
“We are giving them compression sleeves and calf sleeves so that they can be covered as much as possible. We are also providing this chemical called Permethrin, which we are encouraging them to soak all their clothes that they are going to wear when they are in Rio, with.”
“At the same time, all the rooms they are going to be staying in are all air-conditioned. In addition to that, we are also providing them with a diffuser that would emit Citronella and lemongrass.”
“So all these things put together, we are really providing them a whole menu of aids that would give them a very comfortable and safe stay while they are in Rio.”
But despite the various measures that SNOC and SNPC are implementing, Low assured that athletes would not be restricted during the duration of the Games.
“It’s all about due care and not taking unnecessary risks. There are a lot of sights to see; it’s a beautiful city. But one has to be careful considering the crime rate is not extremely low,” he added.
“The best thing for them is really to be together, and if they really need to visit any sights after their Games, we would encourage them to be together in a group because numbers are important.”