IOC President Bach said on the 27th that despite many speculations about the prospects of the Tokyo Olympics, the IOC would concentrate on making the Olympics open on July 23 this year as scheduled. In addition, he also highly praised the preparations for the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee held an executive committee meeting online on the same day. Bach said at a press conference after the meeting that about one year before the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, all venues have been completed and the technical preparations went well.
Despite the great challenges the preparations for the Beijing Winter Olympics encountered due to the pandemic, the past year has still achieved remarkable results: all 12 competition venues have been completed, the Winter Olympics and Paralympics sports icons have been released, and the mascot “Bing Dun” “Dun” and “Xue Rongrong” also took the Chang’e 5 spacecraft for a historic trip to the moon; the medal and torch design work was completed and volunteer recruitment and market development proceeded in an orderly manner.
Anita de Franz, the vice-chairman of the IOC, spoke at the Executive Committee, expressing confidence in China’s success in hosting the Beijing Winter Olympics and believed that the US delegation would definitely participate in the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The Tokyo Olympics was still one of the focuses of the discussion at the executive committee meeting that day. As many regions of Japan, including Tokyo, have entered a state of emergency due to the severe epidemic recently, voices suspecting that the Tokyo Olympics might be cancelled have gradually increased. Bach had already refuted such doubts in an interview with Japan’s Kyodo News. At the press conference that day, Bach once again reiterated his confidence that the Tokyo Olympics would be held as scheduled.
“The uncertainty of the epidemic has caused everyone to speculate about the Tokyo Olympics, cancellation, plan B and even postponement to 2032.” Bach said, “but all these speculations are a kind of injury for athletes preparing for the Olympics.” “So, we can’t waste our time and energy on these guesses. What we have to do is to focus on the current work and let the Tokyo Olympics open on July 23 as scheduled and hold a safe and successful Olympic Games.”
According to the plan of the IOC and the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, next week a plan for the prevention and control of the epidemic in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics would be released. The plan has formulated detailed response plans for different situations that might arise.
Bach said that the IOC was very confident that the Tokyo Olympics could be held as scheduled. One of the reasons was that the effective measures for epidemic prevention and control in many ongoing sports events have provided Tokyo with a lot of successful experience.
“In this winter, more than 7,000 sports events are being held worldwide and about 175,000 athletes have undergone nucleic acid testing, of which only 0.18% tested positive. And none of the events caused a concentrated outbreak.” Bach said.
The Executive Committee meeting on the same day also decided to change the 137th IOC Plenary, which was originally scheduled to be held in Athens from March 10 to 12 this year, to be held online.