Chinese Olympic Committee donates 9,000 masks to Spanish counterparts

The President of the Spanish Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco. © AFP/FABRICE COFFRINI
The President of the Spanish Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco. © AFP/FABRICE COFFRINI

Beijing, China, April 20, 2020: The Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) announced that it had received 9,000 masks donated by the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) in an online press conference on Friday, Xinhua News reports.

"We greatly thank the Chinese Olympic Committee for its empathy towards us at this moment," said COE President Alejandro Blanco. 

"Their gesture should be highly praised, even though it's only a drop of water in the middle of the pandemic."

The donation was made with the assistance of the Juan Antonio Samaranch Foundation.

"The Chinese Olympic Committee has long expressed concern about the situation of Spanish sport," said Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., Vice President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and head of the foundation named after his father, the former IOC President.

Samaranch added that this donation showed the Chinese Olympic Committee's wish to help Spanish athletes protect themselves by wearing masks.

Blanco added that he was "expectant, cautious and concerned about the health of athletes" when asked about how the sporting world might recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Now the first thing is to save the health of the Spanish people, so talking about any sporting competition dates right now is not possible," said the COE President. 

In other news from Beijing:

*An international triathlon originally slated to be held in mid-May in Beijing's suburbs has been postponed to September 20.

Event organisers said the rescheduling of the Jinhai Lake Triathlon was in accordance with China's COVID-19 containment measures.

*Meanwhile, an international marathon set for late May in the Chinese capital has also been postponed, with a new date yet to be determined.