‘2021 Tokyo Olympic games proceeding without Plan B’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Senior Olympics officials say the delayed 2021 Tokyo Games are proceeding without Plan B in place.

The International Olympic Committee and Japanese government postponed the Games to July 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The games were supposed to get under way on 24 July.

With the coronavirus’ infection rate continuing to climb around the world and suggestions that a vaccine is still a long way off, questions are being asked about whether the 2021 Games should be delayed even further. But senior officials say the Olympics will still going ahead as planned.

Australian Olympic Committee president, John Coates, says they are proceeding on the basis that the Games can’t be deferred again.

“This is a massive exercise and we are working through now getting the same venues, the same 43 venues. We’ve got the same dates, so the same scheduling; we’re doing all of that. We’re proceeding on the basis that well there is no Plan B of deferring the games again or anything like that.”

In the video below, is a discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on athletes:

Australian athletes are approaching the Games as if there won’t be a vaccine available ahead of the event. Australian Olympic committee Chief Executive, Matt Carroll, says athletes are preparing and looking forward to the event.

“They’re still preparing hard, working hard for the games. The thing that they are and would like to know more about very soon is the ability of the international federations for the final qualifications and that’s starting to come out now through the IOC. That’s what the athletes are looking forward to, knowing when those competitions will be.”

But Carroll says that the athletes and public’s health remain a priority.

“What sport needs to do is to take it carefully, make sure it’s safe for the athletes, but importantly, safe for the community. The last thing we need is for sport to cause an outbreak of the virus in the community. So we’re taking it very carefully and one step at a time.”

World Athletics president, Sebastian Coe, believes children will need more access to sport in the post-pandemic world. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on sporting calendars across all disciplines and levels.

Coe says he plans to launch a campaign to give children better access to physical activities.

“It’s not just about the pandemic, it’s actually about your ability to live a better, healthier life and this has to be focused on now. It is the very fact that the average child in the UK becomes 50% less active, roughly between the age of eight and nine and 12 and 13 is wrong. It just cannot be right in whichever way you view that, that has to be a worry.”

In April, World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation launched a fund of around R9 million to support professional athletes experiencing financial problems due to the suspension and cancellation of international competitions. Coe will chair a multi-regional working group to assess the applications for assistance. These will be submitted through World Athletics’ six Area Associations.