The messages of Estonian athletes have had a large reach. According to the Estonian Olympic Committee, the appeals for staying at home posted on its Facebook page "Olen Olümpiafänn" have reached around 500,000 people.
Even though younger athletes are more active users of social media, older generations have joined the campaign, too, EOK Media Projects Manager Merili Luuk told Vikerraadio show "Spordipühapäev". Examples include former national team players and current coaches Martin Reim and Gert Kullamäe, as well as the president of the Estonian Basketball Association Jaak Salumets.
"There were two campaigns, one was called "Püsin kodus" ("I stay at home"-ed.) and the other "Aitäh meedikutele!" (#thankyoumedics)," Luuk told.
"There was a problem of people not wanting to stay at home in the beginning," Luuk continued. "We had examples from our athletes living in Italy, saying how difficult the situation was and what we could learn from it.The athletes are on board with all campaigns and the subjects are close to their hearts. They came along with the "Aitäh meedikutele!" campaign right away. I received messages from both athletes and from medical professionals thanking us for coming up with this idea," she said.
According to Luuk, athletes feel a responsibility and understand they have an important role to play. "They have to be role models all the time, not only under the emergency situation," Luuk added.