The Executive Yuan has allocated NT$6.3 billion (US$224.9 million) for a third phase of the National Sports Park Project and Training Plan for Sports Personnel (國家運動園區整體興設與人才培育計畫) since 2019, Executive Yuan spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said yesterday.
The announcement comes during a controversy over seating arrangements on a charter flight for the nation’s Olympic athletes.
Lo said that he hopes the seating issue will not distract from the government’s ongoing efforts to support the nation’s athletes.
Photo courtesy of Jhongshan Elementary School
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) told legislators at a plenary session early this year that all national team athletes would be seated in business class on charter flights to the Tokyo Olympic Games.
However, on Monday’s flight to Tokyo, badminton player Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) took a photograph of herself sitting in economy class, and wrote that she missed flying with EVA Airways and sitting in business class.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Su soon apologized for the oversight, while Sports Administration Director-General Chang Shao-hsi (張少熙) on Tuesday offered to resign to take responsibility for the incident.
Media reports showed that only government officials, coaches and the Chinese Taipei Olympics Committee staff members sat in business class on the flight.
The incident drew much criticism from the public.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hung Mong-kai (洪孟楷) said that the incident was the result of an oversight by the Executive Yuan’s Sports Development Committee, which has not convened for 18 months.
“We are deeply sorry that the Sports Administration mishandled the situation,” Lo said.
“Premier Su has asked the Ministry of Education to determine whether athletes and their coaches were seated in business class. Sports Administration officials must sit in economy class and stay at hotels that are the same quality as the athletes’ hotels,” Lo said.
Su and Pan care deeply about athletes and their careers, Lo said, adding that Su was a rugby player and Pan was an athlete as well.
The government has done a tremendous amount for athletes, Lo said, including approving a five-year budget for a third phase of national sports projects.
The government also budgeted NT$1.52 billion to help top athletes who retire transition into coaching careers, Lo said.
Thirty retired athletes have been recruited into the coaching program, he said, adding that the government plans to hire 70 more coaches following the Tokyo Games.
To prepare the nation’s athletes for the Olympic Games in Tokyo and Paris, the government has budgeted NT$300 million annually for the Golden Player Program, which provides athletes with assistance from professionals, Lo added.
Phase 2 clinical trial results of the Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday were published on the Web site of The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine, in an early preview before publication. The study paves the way for other nations to issue emergency use authorizations or produce the Medigen vaccine, given The Lancet’s credibility as a highly respected medical journal with a rigorous peer-review process, Medigen’s international affairs director Lien Chia-en (連加恩) said. Lien said that the study is important as it proposes methods for converting international units for efficacy comparisons. The methods have been used for correlating the efficacy of hepatitis B
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
THREATS: Dismissing Beijing’s assertion that its military exercises only target Taiwanese separatists, Chiu Kuo-cheng said war has no regard for political affiliation In case Taiwan is attacked, the military will defend the nation and not stand by like “plastic toys,” Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said yesterday at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee. Chiu was responding to Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) asking him to clarify his remark last week that “the military holds to the principle that we will not fire the first shot.” Wang asked Chiu whether he meant what he said literally or that Taiwan would not start a war. “The Republic of China will not start a war,” Chiu
Taiwanese worked more hours than people in all but three other countries in the world last year, Ministry of Labor data showed. Singapore placed first in average hours worked among the 40 economies surveyed, with an average of 2,288 hours per worker last year, the data showed. The city-state was followed by Colombia with 2,172 hours — based on 2019 data — and Mexico with 2,124 hours, it showed. Taiwan came in fourth, with 2,021 hours, it showed. South Korean workers clocked the third-most hours in Asia, with 1,908 hours, followed by Japan with 1,598 hours, it showed. However, compared with 2019, the survey found