International Olympic Committee comments on postponed 2020 Olympics
Kierrla Yates, Staff Writer
A few months ago, the world was unsure if it would watch the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the summer due to the international COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic worsened, the world did not get to watch the event, but instead, the world will get to witness the first ever odd year Olympic games. The 2020 Olympic Games have been rescheduled to take place in July of 2021. The International Olympics Committee (IOC), the Tokyo Games Organizing Committee (TGOC), and multiple other entities have been working hard to ensure the show safely goes on.
On Sept. 9, 2020, the president of the IOC, Thomas Bach, provided many statements regarding the Tokyo 2020 Games and the Beijing 2022 Games during meetings with both Olympic Games Coordination Commissions Chairs.
“With regard to Tokyo, we are very much satisfied about the full support from everyone involved,” Bach stated. He included a special thanks to the Japanese Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for their continued perseverance despite the resignation of Prime Minister Abe.
Furthermore, Bach explained the main goal for the rest of the year is to, “Continue to follow the principle that has driven all our decisions so far with regards to Tokyo, and that means to organize an Olympic Games in a safe environment for all people involved next summer.”
During these times of uncertainty, both the IOC and the TGOC have been banding together to raise spirits. On July 23, the IOC stated there would be one year until the games commenced. On that same day, the online platforms for the IOC and the TGOC held virtual activities for athletes and fans everywhere. They held a virtual ceremony that highlighted Japanese athlete Rikako Ikee and the famous Olympic torch flame. This event headlined the #strongtogether campaign to help uplift and unite those around the world.
Despite the 2020 games being pushed back a year, The IOC and the Beijing committees have begun preparations for the winter games. The winter games are still planned to happen in 2022 and preparations including venue construction have already begun.
Much like the Tokyo committee, the Beijing committees are making the necessary adjustments to keep everyone involved in the games safe from COVID-19. Some of these adjustments included scenario responses and working closely with several international health federations. Tokyo’s and Beijing’s COVID-19 precautions will be utilized all the way up until the end of games. The safety of the athletes and the public are at the heart of these organizations.
Even though waiting a whole extra year may be a bummer, it could be a great opportunity for some athletes to make it into the games. Athletes who suffered injuries now have more time to recover properly and not risk further injury or no competition in the games. We have something great to look forward to next year and the committees and organizations in charge are putting their best work forward to make the games a reality.