IOC will not reduce quota of athletes for Tokyo

Sputnik and Ap

La Jornada newspaper
Thursday, November 19, 2020, p. a12

Tokyo The International Olympic Committee does not plan to reduce the number of athletes, around 11 thousand who will participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they will not be able to stay in Japan once their competitions conclude, said the vice president of the organization. Olympian, John Coates.

There will be no night parties in the Olympic Village and no departures to the city at any time. Instead of meeting their neighbors around the world, athletes will be asked to leave Japan a day or two after their competitions finish.

Strict rules

From the opening ceremony to the daily grind in the Tokyo Bay area, the postponed 2020 Olympics will be like no other. Strict rules and guidelines, perhaps vaccinations and rapid tests, will have to be adhered to in order to carry out the fair in the midst of a pandemic that has caused more than a million deaths worldwide.

Staying longer in the village increases the possibility of more problems, said Coates, in charge of preparations for Tokyo, during a briefing for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Coates accompanied Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, in his visit to the capital of the Asian country this week, in which he met with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Bach left Tokyo on Wednesday after two days saying a vaccine may be available and urging athletes to get it.

Japan has controlled the virus reasonably well, with 1,900 deaths. But on Wednesday Tokyo reported 500 new cases, and more than 2,000 nationwide – daily records.

Christophe Dubi, director of the Olympic Games, acknowledged that almost everything is in the planning stage and various scenarios are contemplated before the start, scheduled for July 23, 2021. We do not know what the situation will be like next year, but some decisions will have to be taken in December, he said.

Coates indicated that the opening ceremony will be restricted to the participating athletes, and a maximum of six leaders.

Bach and Coates noted that the idea is to have fans, although this will have to be confirmed.