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Olympic chief Thomas Bach calls for ‘endurance’ over Tokyo Games | More sports News – Times of India

LAUSANNE: Olympic chief Thomas Bach known as on Wednesday for “patience” over the Tokyo Games, the holding of which this summer time are in continued doubt because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Tokyo Olympics have been initially to have taken place final yr however have been postponed within the face of the primary wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, turning into the primary Games in peacetime to undergo that destiny.
The IOC and the Japanese organisers rescheduled the Games for July 23 to August 8 this yr.
But a number of media experiences have claimed that the Games can’t go forward, one thing an exasperated Bach was fast to minimize after a gathering of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) government board.
“We’re not losing time or energy on speculation… about whether the Games are taking place,” IOC president Bach mentioned.
“We’re working on how the Games will take place.
“Our process is to organise Olympic Games, to not cancel Olympic Games… and that’s the reason we won’t add gasoline to this hypothesis.”
Bach said while the complexity of organising the Games had increased as a result of the virus, “we simply should ask for endurance and understanding, is the principle message”.
“I feel it’s too early to determine anything,” he added.
After the last executive board meeting, the IOC released a statement on December 12, the same day the Pfizer vaccine was approved in the United States, expressing its “full dedication” to staging the Games.
Since then, the emergence of more infectious virus strains has sparked debate on whether the Games can take place and whether it is morally justifiable that competitors be prioritised for vaccination.
“We all the time have made it clear that we’re not in favour of athletes leaping the queue,” Bach stressed.
The German said the IOC was constantly accumulating knowledge on how to organise such a huge event in exceptional circumstances.
“There isn’t any blueprint, we’re studying daily,” Bach said.
He said he understood how people living under lockdown and perhaps unable to even visit a restaurant because of Covid-19 restrictions found it hard to envisage the Games going ahead.
“The accountability of the (Japanese) authorities and the IOC is to look past this case,” Bach added.
And, citing the ongoing world handball championships in Egypt — a country he said was deemed high-risk for virus infections — Bach said it was right for the IOC to continue looking to hold the Games.
“We are in a position and able to supply related counter-measures,” he said.
“If we’d assume it wasn’t accountable, or the Games couldn’t be protected, we’d not go for it.”
Bach also announced the release of the first version of a “playbook” explaining the “many measures we are able to think about to be utilized in July and August in Tokyo”.
The document, he said, was “an enormous enterprise underneath day by day assessment” and covered essential issues such as immigration, potential quarantines, transportation in Tokyo, living in the Olympic Village and social distancing.
Officials have long floated the idea that the Games could go ahead without spectators.
It is an idea many sportspeople have backed, as long as they get a tilt at an Olympic medal.
“I would like followers to be there, however an important factor for a participant is for the occasion to go forward and be capable of play,” Japanese table tennis star Mima Ito told AFP.
Australia and Canada — who both pulled their teams before the initial postponement of the Games last year — and the United States have come out in support of the rescheduled Olympics.
Greek pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi — who led calls for last year’s postponement — has said she would prefer the Olympics to be held with no fans than not at all.
Top US gymnast Simone Biles said the decision had to be based on “what’s protected for the world”, but added she was “hoping the Olympics will be placed on, even when it means we’re in a bubble”.
But Japanese gymnastics star Kohei Uchimura sounded a note of caution, saying the event “cannot be held if the athletes and the individuals do not feel the identical manner”.

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