Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori insisted Japan would hold the Olympics this summer regardless of the situation with the Covid-19 pandemic and was working closely with the International Olympic Committee to make them happen.
There have been growing fears that the rescheduled Games may not be able to take place given the continued spread of coronavirus in Japan and around the world.
But Mori has attempted to ease any concerns that fans may have ahead of the start of the Games in Japan on July 23.
The Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo this summer
‘We will hold the Olympics, regardless of how the coronavirus (situation) looks,’ Mori said, adding that the discussion should focus on how, not whether, the Olympics will happen.
‘We must consider new ways of hosting the Olympics as a part of that,’ he added.
Mori added that while working together had its difficulties, Tokyo 2020 organisers and the IOC had a strong relationship.
Mori was speaking at the start of a meeting with Japan’s Sports Research Commission.
The 2020 Games were postponed last year due to the global spread of the novel coronavirus.
Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori is very confident that Tokyo will stage the Olympic Games
A recent spike in infections in Japan that triggered a state of emergency in some areas has fuelled speculation about whether the rescheduled Games can be held this summer.
But while Mori is extremely confident the Games will take place as normal this summer, there are set to be strict measures in place for the athletes competing.
According to new rules to be published this week, athletes at the Games will be barred from leaving the Olympic Village other than to go to their competition venues.
Competitors will be tested for Covid-19 before and after they arrive in Japan and then every four days while at the Games – but they will not have to quarantine when they land in the country.
Athletes at the Tokyo Games this summer will be barred from leaving the Olympic Village
Athletes can only stay in the Village from five days before their event and must leave straight away afterwards, so will not be allowed to party or sightsee.
The IOC will next week release a ‘playbook’ of the countermeasures they plan to put in place in an attempt to stop coronavirus spreading at the Games in the summer.
Revealing one of the new guidelines, John Coates, the IOC vice-president and chair of the Tokyo 2020 coordination commission, said: ‘Athletes will be limited to the Olympic Village and transport to their venue for competition and training – that’s it, no going downtown.’
However, it is understood the rules should not affect Team GB’s pre-Games plans, as athletes will still be allowed to go into holding camps arranged by their own country before moving to the Village closer to competition.
This post was first published on DailyMail.