The president of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, has expressed confidence that, the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held successfully next year and also emphasized that, safety for spectators is a top priority.
He says foreign athletes and visitors to the Tokyo Games next year should be vaccinated for the coronavirus before entering Japan if a vaccine is available, and said, the IOC will cover the cost of vaccination.
IOC President Thomas Bach, made these remarks during a joint news conference in Tokyo with the president of the Tokyo Organising Committee, Mori Yoshiro and also during a meeting with Tokyo Governor, Koike Yuriko, at the Office of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Monday.
He arrived in Tokyo on Sunday for the first time since the decision was made in March to postpone the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to next year.
Batch expressed his hope to work together with Tokyo to hold the Games in a safe environment for both the participants and Japanese people and stressed the need for all people involved in the Games, to unite and endeavor to work out anti-virus measures.
He noted that, Japan has already held sports events attended by spectators with some restrictions in place, citing the professional baseball games and a recent international gymnastics competition in Tokyo as an example.
Bach also said, it is possible that, the number of spectators allowed in the Games’ venues will be limited. He expressed confidence that, a reasonable number of spectators will be able to attend the Games, but said the IOC’s first priority is to offer a safe environment.
At the meeting, Tokyo Governor Koike said she hopes the Tokyo Games will represent a victory over the coronavirus. She said, Tokyo and Japan are making a maximum effort to welcome athletes from around the world to the Games and they will be held in a safe manner, free of worries.
She expressed readiness to work closely with the IOC.
Koike spoke about how sports can hearten and impress people, referring to the US Open Tennis championships held earlier this year and the recent international gymnastics competition in Tokyo.
She added that, she wants to send a strong message that the Tokyo Games will be a successful beacon of hope for the future.
Mori also said, a lot of fake news had spread over whether the Tokyo Games will be held but that Bach’s visit to Japan has helped dispel people’s doubts.
He expressed his resolve to proceed with the preparation of the Games, saying that the organizing committee will deepen ties with the IOC, while sharing values.
Credit: Kwaku Adu, DNT, Tokyo