By Gabriel Kekong with Agency report
The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Executive Board (EB) on Wednesday received updates from the Coordination Commission Chairs for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, respectively.
Speaking after the meeting, IOC President Thomas Bach commented: “The Executive Board has addressed the two forthcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022. With regard to Tokyo, we are very much satisfied about the full support from everyone involved – of course, the Organising Committee, but given the recent announcement of Prime Minister Abe’s resignation, also from the Japanese Government and from the so-important Tokyo Metropolitan Government.”
He continued: “In the next coming weeks, you will see important and intensive discussions taking place with regard to the different scenarios concerning the COVID-19 countermeasures. We remain very focused on delivering a safe and successful Games next year. These discussions will also happen, like all the other discussions, in close cooperation with our Japanese partners and friends and our Coordination Commission and Task Force. Overall, we will, of course, continue to follow the principle that has driven all our decisions so far with regards to Tokyo, and that means to organise an Olympic Games in a safe environment for all people involved next summer.”
However, Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission Chair John Coates, in his report to the EB, provided an update on the key projects being undertaken over the coming months. An essential element in delivering safe and successful Games is the planning for COVID-19 countermeasures. Whilst this work will continue right up until the Games, the aim is to compile the interim summary by around the end of 2020. An update on this topic will be provided by Tokyo 2020 at the 10th Coordination Commission meeting between 24 and 25 September, and to stakeholders in October.
This important work further highlights the strong collaboration between multiple stakeholders involved in Games delivery. It will incorporate input from, among others, the Coordination Meeting for COVID-19 Countermeasures at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 involving Tokyo 2020, the Government of Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), the Japanese Olympic Committee, the Japanese Paralympic Committee and infectious disease experts, as well as continued support from the All-Partner Task Force, which includes the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the World Health Organization (WHO), Tokyo 2020, the Government of Japan and the TMG. In addition, the IOC is also studying measures being implemented both within Japan and globally at sports events that have returned over the last few weeks.
Chair Coates also provided an insight into the ongoing optimisation efforts, which included collecting feedback from stakeholder consultations that took place in June 2020 and organising Coordination Commission working group meetings in August 2020. The IOC and Tokyo 2020 have highlighted their continued commitment to analysing the feasibility and budget impact of each opportunity, with key elements expected to be discussed during the upcoming Coordination Commission meeting.
In addition to these operational updates, Chair Coates acknowledged the one-year-to-go milestone that took place on 23 July. Tokyo 2020 and the IOC organised a series of activities across both organisations’ digital channels. This included a live media event at the Olympic Stadium featuring the Olympic flame and inspirational Japanese athlete Rikako Ikee. Some 57 broadcasters (47 of which are Rights-Holding Broadcasters) picked up the live feed, reaching 138 countries, and at least 40 National Olympic Committees and 20 International Federations around the world joined in to mark this important landmark. As part of this, the IOC’s #StrongerTogether campaign was launched to recognise the importance of solidarity and unity during these difficult times, acknowledging the power of sport, and in particular the Olympic Games, to bring people together.
In the same vein, Beijing 2022 Coordination Commission Chair Juan Antonio Samaranch also complimented the strong collaboration between the IOC, the local Organising Committee and key stakeholders, as preparations for the next Olympic Winter Games, in Beijing, continue.
Samaranch noted advances in venue construction, development of the local Organising Committee staff, and new sponsors and suppliers, as further evidence of Beijing 2022’s progress.
Beijing 2022 has been working closely with Beijing and Hebei authorities and the national government to mitigate any negative impact that COVID-19 could have on operations.
Chair Samaranch described how such planning will be implemented this coming winter at a number of official Test Events. Beijing 2022 has been in direct contact with the relevant International Federations, developing plans for different scenarios based on the latest COVID-19 situation.