Olympic Games will proceed, IOC boss Bach assures

Olympic Games will proceed,  IOC boss Bach assures

The International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has reassured the Olympics family that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will go on as scheduled despite the spike in COVID-19 cases in Japan.

Addressing the ANOCA General Assembly in Egypt Monday morning, Bach said a comprehensive countermeasures plan has been put in place for the summer Olympics. Key among they is to ensure that the athletes from across the world come together in a safe environment to compete.

The Games will be held in a total bubble where athletes and officials will not interact with the Japanese public.

The organizers of the Games have developed a document known as the Playbook which provides specific rules and regulations for all participants. It provides a list of places where they can go and where not to go. These include public places like restaurants, bars and shopping malls. The Playbooks have been developed based on science and the latest research on covid-19.

Bach added that the IOC was building on the experience of sports events that have been held since 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic literally brought the world to a standstill.  A good example given was the World Handball Championships that brought together 41,000 athletes in January of 2020. The world relays in Poland last month is the latest event that was held in a bubble with zero coronavirus cases reported at the championship.

The IOC president also says countries are urged to vaccinate athletes and officials ahead of the Games. Kenyan athletes and officials received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in April, and are awaiting the second dose ahead of the first batch of athletes and officials leaving for Kurume City, Japan on the 5th of July.

According to Bach, the Games are not being held in the normal Olympic Games environment, so sacrifices have to be made during the competition, and countries requested to consider even more stringent rules and measures to ensure the athletes and officials remain safe.

For the IOC, the focus of the Games will be athletes’ participation and competition in a safe environment. The challenges being experienced will not stop the competition, with the resilience and unity of mankind set to be to be demonstrated in Tokyo

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