Dr Cox applauds Jamaican Olympic delegation in COVID-19 fightSaturday, August 21, 2021
BY IAN BURNETT
Dr Lincoln Cox, a member of the medical staff at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympic Games, has labelled the Jamaican delegation “extremely co-operative” in the rigorous fight to conduct a safe and secure Games.
The novel coronavirus pandemic severely affected the 2020 Tokyo Olympics forcing a historic postponement of a year and the banning of almost all foreign spectators.
On on the final day of action the organisers reported it identified 430 positive cases in a population of 52,000 overseas participants and athletes and many more Japanese volunteers and security.
Most of the positive cases were among residents of Japan, largely staff or contractors, with 29 athletes and 25 members of the media also testing positive.
The east Asian country recorded new virus records with Tokyo accounting for a large portion of the numbers, despite being under a state of emergency for weeks while cases rose prior to the start of the Games.
Dr Cox believes that the Jamaicans, like most of the other countries which participated, played a huge role in the overall success of the staging of the event.
“I sat in the medical room every morning as they [delegation] filed in to do their saliva antibody testing and all members of the delegation abided by the rules, because they knew that the continued success of the delegation and being here, staying here, was dependent on abiding by these rules because we knew that if one person went out of line the whole delegation is gone, and so being here at the end is testament to the fact that we all abided by the rules,” Dr Cox told the Jamaica Observer inside the Olympic Stadium on the penultimate day of action in which Jamaica secured nine medals — four gold, one silver and four bronze.
He added: “I think all in all the challenges coming here was always to try and navigate the pandemic and to try and keep everybody safe from the virus. The Olympics this year was always about safety in sport, it was to try and contain the virus so that we don't have a super spreader event here.
“All the protocols coming into here were strictly and very meticulously abided by. I think the Jamaicans did well, as did all the other NOCs (national Olympic committees) and delegations here; they did really well and the numbers have shown it.”
But the NOCs and their contributions apart, Dr Cox was not surprised that an event of this magnitude could have been so well organised and executed by the hosts.
“Not at all surprised, because we always see the Japanese as very disciplined, very meticulous in what they do. I was here before the Olympics with the Reggae Boyz and that level of abiding by the protocols and the strict adherence to the measures coming before the Olympics was really a prelude to coming here for the Olympics. And I think, with their culture, if nobody else, then they were the ones to do it,” he noted.
According to Dr Cox, the medical panel was also very pleased with the limited cases of injuries which severely hampered athletes' ability to perform at their best.
“We all know what causes injuries, and most of these athletes are professionals and, coming into here, the teams would have had their normal protocols followed in terms of preventing injuries — nutrition, hydration, physiotherapy, and just keeping fit during the time leading up to the Olympics.
“That has been managed well. We have had, as with everybody else, injuries and I think we have managed those well. That's something that you can't escape — injuries — when it comes on to top-level sports. And so, all in all, I think the numbers are small in terms of injuries and really hasn't affected our medal haul at all.”