From L to R - Eric Chua (Parliamentary Secretary, MCCY), Minister Edwin Tong (MCCY), President Halimah Yacob, Yeo Jia Min (Badminton Women's Singles, TeamSG) and Loh Kean Yew (Badminton Men's Singles, TeamSG) - Photo by MCI - Fyrol
By Raj Kumar
It's customary for the Heads of State or world leaders to travel to the Olympic Games and attend the Official Opening Ceremony. And during the usual 4-hour event, athletes from the 200+ competing countries and territories will partake in the "Parade of Nations", as they enter the Stadium and walk around the entire track, beaming with pride, taking photos and waving their flags.
Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic however, President Halimah Yacob will not be travelling to Tokyo. With strict safety management measures and travel restrictions in place, Madam Halimah will remain in Singapore and support the nation's finest sportsmen and women in action. Meanwhile this afternoon, the 66 year old visited TeamSG athletes in the sporting disciplines of Fencing and Badminton, to offer words of support and encouragement.
"Their spirits are very high, they are highly motivated, which I find extremely encouraging. They must take care of themselves, comply with all the health requirements, keep safe and healthy. I know they are doing their best, and they have our support and backing. Although we are not there, we have their backs," said President Halimah at the OCBC Arena.
(Madam Halimah during a brief media doorstop)
(TeamSG Fencer Kiria Tikanah Abdul Rahman and Madam Halimah - Photo by MCI -Fyrol)
(From L to R : Dr Ben Tan (CDM, TeamSG contingent, OG2020,) Juliana Seow (President, Fencing Singapore), Edwin Tong (Minister for Culture, Community and Youth), Eric Chua (Parliamentary Secretary, MCCY) and Lim Teck Yin (CEO, Sport Singapore)
As of 1st July, a contingent of 21 TeamSG athletes from 10 sports have qualified for Tokyo 2020, with sprinter Shanti Pereira expected to receive a wildcard. The 32nd edition of the Olympiad will begin on 23 July.
For all coverage and news of the Republic's national athletes who'll be competing at the Games, check out the official Team Singapore website.