Sport

Rescheduled Olympic Games need sacrifices, says IOC chief Bach

Wait for residents continues: Part of the Olympic village (foreground) is pictured in Tokyo a day the Games were put off. The village and its future use as residential condos is one of the issued facing the re-organised event.

Wait for residents continues: Part of the Olympic village (foreground) is pictured in Tokyo a day the Games were put off. The village and its future use as residential condos is one of the issued facing the re-organised event.  

All options on the table, not just restricted to summer of 2021

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday that the postponed Tokyo Games would require “sacrifices and compromises” from all sides to make them work.

“These postponed Olympic Games will need sacrifices, will need compromises by all of the stakeholders,” Bach told reporters in a conference call the day after the IOC decided to delay the 2020 Games because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The IOC’s role, Bach said, was “to make the Olympic dreams of athletes come true”.

He admitted that cancelling the Tokyo Games was “discussed and considered”, but said: “It was very clear from the beginning that cancellation was not something the IOC would in any way favour.”

Bach said the rescheduling of the Games in 2021 remained a “very challenging question”.

‘Here We Go’

A task-force, named ‘Here We Go’, had been created to examine the issue, Bach added, saying the first port of call would be with the 33 international federations, likely starting with a conference call on Thursday.

Also read: Athletes give thumbs up to postponement

“The first step, we have to see with them, to see what the options are. We also have to take into account the sports calendar around the Olympic Games,” the German said.

The rescheduling, he added, “is not restricted just to the summer months. All the options are on the table, before and including the summer of 2021”.

Both World Athletics and the International Swimming Federation say they are prepared to move their 2021 world championships to accommodate the rescheduled Games.

One of the many logistical headaches caused by the historic postponement of the Tokyo Olympics has been the uncertainty around the Athletes’ Village overlooking Tokyo Bay. It was supposed to be re-purposed into condos for sale after the Games.

When asked about how a postponement might affect the Village and its conversion, Bach said: “I cannot tell you what the situation is. It’s one of the many thousand of questions the task-force has to address.

“It’s the Olympic Village (where) the heart of the Games is usually beating.”

Bach, who was part of West Germany’s gold medal-winning foil fencing team at the 1976 Olympics, added: “Of course, I’d be very, very delighted if we could have the Olympic Village in the traditional form.”

“Everybody who has once lived in an Olympic Village knows that this is the real Olympic experience, that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

“Living under one roof with the whole world, sharing your meals together, celebrating together, discussing together, and forming this unique Olympic unity.” Bach concluded by saying: “We are at an unprecedented situation and have an unprecedented challenge. We have to find the best possible situation under the circumstances that we are living in.”

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 2:32:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/rescheduled-olympic-games-need-sacrifices-says-ioc-chief-bach/article31167266.ece

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