Filipino athletes have joined organizers in calling for fans all over the world to be part of the virtual audience in the coming Tokyo Olympics.
The Japanese government is looking at a zero live audience as it implements strict health protocols due to the continued rise in COVID-19 cases, particularly in Tokyo, where most of the games will be held.
Organizers have called the digital engagement program Share the Passion.
In anticipation of empty seats in competition venues, Tokyo organizers have invited fans from all over the world to send recorded videos of themselves cheering their athletes or yelling their national chants.
The videos will be shown on the big screens at venues during the Games.
Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who is making her fourth straight Olympiad, has called on the Filipino fans to send the videos, waving the tri-color Philippine flag.
“Send your videos with the flag. We need your support and messages. Salamat po,” said Diaz, who is out to duplicate if not surpass her silver medal finish in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“You can share the passion and show your support for the Olympians, official and the Olympics itself by recording and sending in your national chants, one-phrases or similar messages,” Diaz shared on her official social media page.
The Philippines is sending 19 athletes to the Tokyo Olympics, hoping to finally bag the country’s first-ever gold medal.
Aside from Diaz, representing the Philippines in Tokyo are gymnast Caloy Yulo, pole-vaulter EJ Obiena, boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, weighlifter Elreen Ando, rower Chris Nievarez, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, skateboarder Margie Didal, shooter Jayson Valdez, golfers Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Juvic Pagunsan, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, sprinter Kristina Knott, and swimmers Luke Gebbie and Remedy Rule.
“In a world in which many people have been separated from each other by the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe that the Tokyo 2020 Games will help us renew our bonds with each other,” said Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto.
“I am looking forward to many people around the world taking this opportunity to be a part of the Games and deliver their messages of support to the athletes.”
To join the Share the Passion program, just post your recorded video on social media using the hashtags #DearAthletes, @Tokyo2020 and #OLY.
For full details, please check the dedicated link https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/en/games/share-the-passion/