IOC Reiterates That Tokyo 2020 Games Will Safely Take Place
By Taruka Srivastav | January 22, 2021
The International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee have dismissed claims that the Tokyo 2020 Games are set to be cancelled.
A report in the Times claimed the Japanese government has “privately concluded” that the Olympics and Paralympics will have to be called off due to rising coronavirus rates.
IPC released a statement: “The IPC, IOC, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and all delivery partners are fully committed and focussed on delivering safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. This position has not changed and has been confirmed once again today by the IOC, Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese government.
“Since last March’s postponement, everyone involved in the delivery of the Games has been working tirelessly to develop COVID-19 countermeasures and plans which we believe will mitigate the risk for the athletes, all Games stakeholders and, importantly, the Japanese public.
“In early February, the IOC, IPC and Tokyo 2020 will publish the first editions of Playbooks targeting Games stakeholders. These Playbooks will start to explain exactly how we aim to deliver this summer’s event and outline the personal responsibilities each person attending the Games must follow to ensure safe and secure Games.
“Compared to March 2020, we now know much more about how the COVID-19 virus behaves, much more about how to organise safe sport events during a pandemic and are encouraged by the international roll-out of several vaccines.
“By the time of the Games this summer, we are optimistic that daily case numbers will be much lower than during these dark winter months. We are also confident that the extensive testing programme to be implemented before, during and after the Games – one of several measures that will be taken targeting Games stakeholders – will help minimise the risk of virus transmission. Finally, each sport event that has taken place globally since the outbreak of the virus has provided us all with valuable learning experiences which are helping to continually shape our plans for Tokyo.
“There is no doubt the Tokyo 2020 Games will be very different to any previous Games and that this summer’s event looks a long way off right now. However, we believe that with the robust measures and plans we have in place, the Games can and will go ahead safely.”
The Japanese Cabinet Secretariat of the Headquarters for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: “Some news reports circulating today are claiming that the Government of Japan has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus. This is categorically untrue.
“At an IOC Executive Board Meeting in July last year, it was agreed that the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would be held on July 23 this year, and the programme and venues for the Games were rescheduled accordingly. All parties involved are working together to prepare for a successful Games this summer.
“We will be implementing all possible countermeasures against COVID-19 and will continue to work closely with the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in our preparations for holding a safe and secure Games this summer.”