A video produced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is calling on “world leaders and decision makers to ensure free and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.” The video features more than 20 Olympians and Paralympians, including two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee.
“As athletes, we can bring the world together through the power of sport,” the athletes say in the video. “Now, more than ever, we stand united to use that power of sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Movement to help win the battle against COVID because we go faster, we aim higher, we are stronger when we stand together”.
“We have been given a way forward with a safe and effective vaccine that can help save precious lives and protect our friends… and our families,” the video continues. “So we call on governments, foundations, philanthropists, health organisations and social businesses to join hands in giving free and equal access to the vaccine for everybody across the world to pledge our collective responsibility to protect those who are the most vulnerable, because everyone on this planet has a right to live a healthy life. We are stronger together when we stand in solidarity and care for each other.”
The message follows on the words of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization Director General. During the IOC Session in Tokyo last year he said:
“The Olympic Games bring nations of the world together in competition as athlete strive to fulfil the Olympic motto of ‘higher, faster, stronger – together’. The motto applies equally to our struggle against the defining challenge of our time: we must be faster in distributing vaccines all over the world; we must aim higher in vaccinating 70 per cent of all the population of all countries by the middle of 2022; we must be stronger in removing every barrier that stands in our way to expedite production; and we must do it all together, in solidarity.”