International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach released a video statement on Friday, providing an update on the status of the 2021 Olympic Games exactly six months out from the Opening Ceremonies.
The statement also came shortly after The Times reported that the Games were to be cancelled because of the coronavirus, citing internal sources within the Japanese government.
Following that report, which proved to be more of an opinion from one specific source, Bach told Kyodo News that the IOC had “no reason whatsoever” to believe the Games would not go forward.
In his video statement, the IOC President reiterated that sentiment, saying that he spoke to all 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) on Friday and received confirmation from all of them that they’re fully committed to the Games.
Bach, 67, also said that the IOC has full support from both the Japanese government and all of the IOC members.
“Everybody is really determined to make this Olympic Games, in six months from now, the light at the end of the tunnel in which, at this moment, we are all still in,” he said.
“But all the prospects are good. We are working hard, and for this Games, the first priority will be to make them safe and secure for all participants.”
Bach also spoke on the preparation of the athletes, saying that in his discussions with the IOC Athletes’ Commission, everyone is “enthusiastic” in preparing for the Games, and that he will speak more directly to the athlete community soon.
He also touched on all of the countermeasures the IOC is working to put in place in light of COVID-19 and other potential hurdles, including immigration, quarantine, social distancing and life in the athlete’s village, rapid testing, vaccination and spectators.
“It’s really a huge undertaking, but we are very much encouraged in this because we can see already now that big sports events, even world championships, are happening and are being organized in a safe and secure way even without having access to any kind of vaccination,” he said.
“Rest assured, our first priority is a safe and secure Olympic Games. And when we are talking about the measures, there can be no taboo for securing safe and secure Olympic Games for every participant.”
Following Bach’s statement, the video shows several sites from the Olympic venue, including the village and many of the competition sites, including the swimming pool.