Worldwide Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaks after a gathering with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, in Tokyo, Japan, July 14, 2021. Kimimasa Mayama/Pool through REUTERS
July 14, 2021
TOKYO (Reuters) – The postponed Tokyo Olympic Video games will create new “stars and legends” regardless of a one-year delay, fragmented preparations and the absence of followers within the stadiums, Worldwide Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach mentioned on Wednesday.
Postponed final 12 months as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the Video games get below means subsequent week, with all spectators banned from the venues of the 33 sports activities.
“These Video games may have excessive sporting worth below the circumstances,” Bach informed an internet media roundtable. “We’ve seen how the athletes persevered and tailored over a couple of 12 months…
“This problem was the identical for all of them. There we’ll nonetheless see nice sport and like in any Olympics new stars might be born there, and new legends might be created.”
As circumstances rose, the federal government declared a brand new state of emergency for Tokyo and surrounding prefectures final week and Olympics organisers introduced no followers can be allowed at occasions in these areas.
A number of large names may also be lacking both by way of failure to qualify, doping circumstances, or different causes together with an unwillingness to journey to Tokyo due to the virus.
The Olympics have misplaced a lot public assist in Japan due to fears they’ll set off a surge on infections.
Bach mentioned he was supporting the strict measures imposed on the Video games and its contributors, which had been obligatory to assist persuade the Japanese inhabitants that the Video games wouldn’t change into a superspreader occasion.
“We try to handle the issues,” he mentioned.
“We all the time knew there was scepticism among the many inhabitants and that there are very particular circumstances about which the inhabitants is worried and which transferred to the Olympic Video games.”
He mentioned a excessive vaccination charge amongst contributors, an Olympic bubble with restricted mobility for athletes and different stakeholders, banning spectators, and steady testing had been a part of the organisers’ plans to minimise any danger.
“This message has to get throughout. The Japanese folks have to achieve confidence on this,” he mentioned.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; modifying by John Stonestreet)