IOC AC Chair Kirsty Coventry was joined by a number of athletes and athlete representatives who shared their positive experiences of competing in an environment with COVID-19 countermeasures in place.
They expressed the confidence they have in everyone to deliver a safe and secure event for all and explained why they can’t wait to travel to Tokyo.
We share some of the key comments from those we heard from at the Forum, including Australia’s slalom canoe star Jessica Fox.
Athletes and athlete representatives from across the world tuned in to the 2021 IAF, with some of you sharing your positive experiences of competing in or organising an event in a COVID-19-adapted environment, and the confidence it’s instilled in you ahead of the Games.
“As we’ve heard from our athletes who have joined us, everyone is working towards making Tokyo 2020 safe for the athletes and the Japanese people,” said IOC AC Chair Kirsty Coventry.
Here are some of the key comments from those who spoke with Kirsty and the panel of expert speakers at the Forum, including World Triathlon AC Chair Tamás Tóth, International Golf Federation AC Chair Heather Daly-Donofrio and Australia’s canoe slalom star Jessica Fox.
High levels of professionalism
Tamás Tóth, the World Triathlon AC Chair, tuned in virtually to the Forum to share the positive experience he had with the 2021 World Triathlon Championship Series held in the Japanese city of Yokohama, and how it has put him at ease ahead of the Games.
“Two weeks ago, we successfully delivered our first bubble system in Yokohama, which was our first Olympic qualification race this year. Over 117 elite athletes competed there, and I would like to reassure all my fellow Olympians who are preparing for Tokyo about the service from the IOC and from the host nation,” said Tamás.
“From the moment that you arrive at the airport, you’re guided to your hotel, and the professionalism at the training venues was so amazing that I’m super confident about how it’ll be done in Tokyo. The Japanese perfection was there, and I’m really looking forward to the Games.”
Full confidence in everyone
Golf was the first major professional sport to return to action, as Heather Daly-Donofrio, the International Golf Federation AC Chair, explained. With golf tournaments having been held in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas, Heather has seen first-hand how competitions can be held safely and securely for everyone. She’s certain that Tokyo 2020 will be safe and secure, too.
“We’ve been able to cross these borders and continents safely and successfully not just for the athletes, but also for the communities and the countries in which we’ve played. Everything I’ve read coming out of the IOC and the Playbooks and heard today… I’m just super confident that the IOC and Tokyo will deliver the same for the Olympic Games.”
Australia’s canoe slalom star Jessica Fox discussed the challenges athletes globally have faced since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the Games last summer, and why she’s excited to compete in Tokyo.
“These last 12 months have been really challenging for athletes all over the world. We’ve all had to adapt and had our preparations disrupted in some way. We’ve had to make the most of the restrictions here and not being able to travel overseas for competitions. But I’m really looking forward to finally getting over there, and I have full confidence [in the organisation of the Games]. Hearing the updates just there, live from Tokyo, I think there’s been great communication from the IOC,” said Jessica.
Everything I’ve read coming out of the IOC and the Playbooks and heard today… I’m just super confident that the IOC and Tokyo will deliver the same for the Olympic Games.