The new Chariots of Fire

Why do I doubt that Hollywood will be falling all over themselves to make a movie about this athlete’s heroic refusal to compromise his principles?

Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake has said that he would rather miss the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics than receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Blake – a two-time Olympic gold medallist and former 100m world champion – made the comments in Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner.

Earlier this month, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that receiving a vaccine would not be compulsory for athletes and officials to attend this summer’s delayed Games, though they still encouraged competitors to be vaccinated if possible before arriving in Japan “to contribute to the safe environment of the Games.”

“Also out of respect for the Japanese people, who should be confident that everything is being done to protect not only the participants, but also the Japanese people themselves,” the IOC said.

Speaking over the weekend, Blake was quoted as saying: “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.”

Now there is a man who understands risk-reward. There are some people whose personal situations justify the risks of the not-vaccine. Frankly, most of their genes could probably use modification. But an elite young athlete is definitely on the wrong side of the risk-reward ratio.