By Zaabu Reporter
The Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), John Coates, has said that the Tokyo Olympic Games will go ahead in 2021 irrespective of the fact whether COVID-19 continues with its monstrous form or die out.
Speaking to the media, Coates said that the IOC was committed to hosting “the Games that conquered COVID” and that the Olympics would go ahead “with or without Covid”.
He added that the theme of the 2020 Games was going to be “‘the Reconstruction Games’, after the devastation of the tsunami” which rocked Japan in 2011. “Now very much this will be the light at the end of the tunnel,” he went on.
The above comments were made in the aftermath of the first meeting of the three-party council – of the Japanese Government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee– that was set up to produce “robust countermeasures” to the pandemic to allow the Games to proceed in a smooth manner to the extent possible next summer.
That will involve a “simplified” version of the Olympics, with Coates having previously stated that the IOC is still targeting having fans in attendance, though only where this can be achieved safely for spectators, organizers and athletes.
The next meeting of the task force will focus on that as well as issues of transportation and border control, with the Japanese Government still at a loss how the pandemic might affect athletes coming into the country to compete and whether they might be expected to quarantine on arrival.
“Their job now is to look at all the different counter-measures that will be required for the Games to take place. Some countries will have it [Covid] under control, some won’t. We’ll have athletes therefore coming from places where it’s under control and some where it is not. There are 206 teams, so there’s a massive task being undertaken on the Japanese side,” added Coates.
Vaccine ‘not required’
A task force comprising Government officials, disease experts and Japanese Olympic officials has said a vaccine is not a requirement for holding next year’s Games.
The organising committee CEO Toshiro Muto said, “A vaccine is not a requirement … The International Olympic Committee and the WHO already discussed this matter. It’s not a condition for the delivery of the Tokyo 2020 Games. A vaccine is not a requirement. Of course, if vaccines are developed we’ll really appreciate it. And for Tokyo 2020 this will be great. But if you ask me if that’s a condition, it’s not a condition.”