SINGAPORE – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called on the nation to rally behind Team Singapore at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (July 13), he shared that he recently had the opportunity to chat with the Tokyo-bound athletes virtually.

The Tokyo Olympics will take place from July 23 to Aug 3, and 23 athletes across 12 sports have qualified. The Paralympics will then take place from Aug 24 to Sept 5 and 10 Singaporeans have confirmed their berths.

PM Lee noted in his post that the pandemic has made this Olympic year “very challenging”.

“The demands on those who are also on the front line of Covid-19, like (rower) Joan Poh, who is a nurse at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, have been tremendous,” he wrote.

“Nevertheless, our athletes have persevered in their training and are raring to go. Their focus, resilience and adaptability to changing circumstances are inspiring!”

He also said he was delighted that 21 of the Team Singapore athletes headed to Japan will be making their debuts, across a range of events that Singapore will be represented in for the first time as well, such as diving, equestrian, marathon swimming and para-powerlifting.

In a video message to the athletes, PM Lee said: “It’s been a long journey you’ve been on.

“It has not been easy, I’m sure, to reach that level to qualify for the Olympics, but you’ve made it and you’re at the starting point of the next stage of your journey.

“We are all with you, cheering with you. Our thoughts are with you, our prayers are with you. We just want you to focus, do your best, and we are proud of you.”

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