JOA keeping close watch on Brazil


April 27, 2016
Mike Fennell

The Zika virus outbreak in Brazil has been a major cause for concern going into the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The virus which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared an international public health emergency, has created great uncertainty.

There is also the issue of an impeachment in congress for the country's first female president, Dilma Rousseff, while there are also concerns with water pollution.

Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president, Mike Fennell, said they have paid close attention to these situations in the South American country and he revealed that the JOA was pleased with the precautions and counter measures the Brazilians have put in place to combat the virus. He also hopes the political situation can be resolved before the games commence on August 5.

political situation

"In Rio, there are a number things we have to deal with, everyone knows there is a public health problems with the Zika V, but we are quite comfortable with the arrangements that have been made for the protection of the athletes, officials and other people. We are monitoring that carefully," he said.

He also believes it would be best if the country's leaders resolve the uncertain political situation ahead of the games.

"What has not directly impacted the games but will affect the nation, is the government situation in Brazil. The president of the country is facing impeachment and that always presents a challenge when you have political uncertainty. We just have to wait and see how it unfolds, but it would be best if that is sorted out before the games not just for Jamaica but for the whole world." he continued.

Meanwhile, the long serving JOA boss believes that the Olympic Games today plays an even greater role in enhancing the career and reputation of sportsmen and women right across the globe.

"The demand for a place on the Olympic team is even greater than ever before because it is such an important event in the life and career of any sports person. It's the ultimate achievement," he said.

- L.S.

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