The President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, has addressed various questions regarding the logistics of the now postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. These included sponsorship deals and whether or not Canada’s decision to not send a team (if the Games were to go ahead as planned) had anything to do with the IOC’s and Japan’s joint decision.
He expressed how “This is like a huge jigsaw puzzle. A Games has never been postponed before so we have no blueprint, but we are nevertheless confident that we can have a wonderful Olympic Games”.
‘Here We Go’ Taskforce
Mr. Bach announced that a taskforce called ‘Here We Go’ has been set up by the IOC’s coordination commission and and the Tokyo 2020 organising committee to lay out the various details of how and when the Games will take place next year.
With regards to when exactly the Games are set to take place, he said that the “taskforce will need to consult with the 33 international federations. We hope to come to a decision as soon as possible”.
‘Not Restricted To Summer Months’
Mr.Bach was asked if there is a possibility that the Games will take place earlier than next summer, perhaps in the Spring instead. He responded by saying that:
- “The taskforce can consider the broader picture. This (the new schedule) is not restricted to just the summer months”.
- “We will only ogranise a Games in a safe environment for all the participants”.
Mr.Bach has said that anyone who has sponsorship deals in relation to Tokyo 2020, and which we meant to go out of date later this year, will keep their rights until the Games actually takes place.
- “For me the logical consequence is that any sponsor who has rights in relation to Tokyo 2020 will keep their rights”.
- “We have contacted all the sponsors and we have their support in this decision”.
Athlete’s Voice and Canada’s Response
- “We have always taken the athlete’s voice into consideration, we are in constant contact with them. Last week there was a conference call between all 33 Olympic Federations which resulted in a unanimous verdict of support for the IOC’s plans towards Tokyo, including Canada.
When asked about whether or not Canada’s response forced the hand of the IOC and Japan to postpone the Games, Mr. Bach responded rather cryptically by saying:
- “It is the right of every athlete who qualifies whether they want to compete at the Games or not. I do not think it should be a majority vote by anybody. We have to respect the right of every athlete”.
What is the situation with the current Olympic Village?
- “At the minute I cannot tell you what the situation is. We hope, of course, and we will do whatever we can to ensure there is an Olympic village next year as this is the heart of the Games. I would be delighted if we can have an Olympic village in the regular form”.
When asked if the IOC has any regrets about being so adamant that the Games could go ahead as planned, Mr.Bach said:
- “No because this was the committment to our Japanese partners. What we expressed was confidence in our Japanese partners to organise the Games for July in safe conditions”.
- Adding that “It will require everybody’s effort to make these Games what it can and should be”.