On March 24th, the IOC Athletes’ Commission (IOC AC), chaired by 7-time Olympic medal-winning swimmer Kirsty Coventry, released a statement supporting the IOC’s decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games from 2020 to 2021 as part of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Now that the actual start date of July 23rd has been determined for the next Summer Olympics, the IOC AC conducted a call with over 150 athletes representatives to collect feedback and address questions and concerns over the new timeline.
Key points addressed by IOC President Thomas Bach and other directors included the fact that the new Olympic timeframe was decided quickly in order ‘to allow athletes, National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations (IFs) the maximum amount of time to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in 2021.’
The leaders also confirmed that any athlete already qualified for the Games will retain qualification.
After the discussion, Coventry commented that, “We do not currently know when athletes will be able to train and prepare fully, so a summer Games maximises the time available for athletes to prepare and for the staging of the remaining Olympic qualification events.
“The IOC AC is delighted that the dates could be confirmed so quickly. This confirmation will give athletes the certainty that is needed to start their planning for 2021 and also allows you to concentrate on keeping yourselves and your families safe during this challenging time.”