The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee confirmed in a virtual IOC session last week that all the venues intended for 2020 will be ready for the games next July, and have confirmed the competition schedule for the delayed games in 2021.
According to the IOC website the announcement “marks a significant step for the organisers, with only one year to go until the postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 open on 23 July 2021.” They add: ” As preparations continue to advance, these decisions highlight the progress made amidst the current unprecedented circumstances, with strong unity amongst all stakeholders driving the planning and delivery of next year’s Games.”
This was emphasised by the Organising Committee’s President, Yoshiro Mori, and its CEO, Toshiro Muto, who have confirmed that all 43 competition venues, the Olympic Village, and the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre would be used for the Olympic Games in 2021. The Tokyo organisers also announced that the competition schedule will remain the same, “with some minor timing adjustments for operational reasons.”
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The Olympic Village is the beating heart of the Olympic Games, while the venues are its soul. I am delighted that the Village and the venues have been confirmed for next year. This means that the athletes will have this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Athletes from all around the world will live together under one roof in the Olympic Village, sharing meals together, celebrating together, discussing together and forming these unique Olympic communities. That Tokyo 2020 has been able to achieve this and confirm the competition schedule despite the extraordinary circumstances is testament to the work of the Joint Steering Committee led by John Coates and Yoshiro Mori.”
“With only one year to go, a mammoth task still lies ahead of us. With our Japanese partners and friends, we agree that we have to adapt the planning of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to the requirements of the global crisis, while maintaining the unique spirit and message that defines our mission. We are working to optimise the operations and services without touching on sports and athletes. In this way we can, together with the Organising Committee, turn these postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 into an unprecedented celebration of unity and solidarity of humankind, making them a symbol of resilience and hope. Showing that we are stronger together.”
While Covid-19 remains a global threat, the IOC say an “All Partner Task Force”, which includes experts from WHO and local Japanese government authorities, continues to advise the Games organisers. According to the IOC website: “Plans are being developed for COVID-19 countermeasures. The top priority remains the one already established before the postponement decision – to safeguard the health of all of the Olympic Games participants.”