Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake said he would rather miss the Tokyo Games than get the COVID-19 vaccine, although getting vaccinated will not be required of the athletes competing in Japan this summer.
“My mind still stays strong, I don’t want any vaccine, I’d rather miss the Olympics than take the vaccine, I am not taking it,” he was quoted as saying in Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner.
Blake, a one-time rival of Jamaican great Usain Bolt, will likely still be able to participate in what is expected to be the 31-year-old’s third and final games even if he does not get the vaccine.
The International Olympic Committee has said getting the vaccine is “encouraged” but not compulsory for athletes. The Olympics, which were pushed back by a year due to the global health crisis, are set to begin on July 23, though speculation remains the event might yet be canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.
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