Several key individuals in the planning of Tokyo 2020 joined IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC) Chair Kirsty Coventry at the IAF, including Olympic Games Operations Director Pierre Ducrey.
Preparations are now at their final stage, and day two of the IAF saw participants updated on the finishing touches being put in place to ensure the Games are safe and secure.
We share the key takeaways on the final preparations for the Games and what’s being done to ensure you can focus on competing at your best.
We are running through the last steps of the preparation. At this moment, it is about making sure the finishing touches are put on the venues.
Pierre Ducrey, Olympic Games Operations Director
Tokyo 2020 took centre stage on day two of the IAF 2021. IOC AC Chair and IAF host Kirsty Coventry was joined by IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell and Olympic Solidarity and NOC Relations Director James Macleod to update the athlete representatives on the final preparations for the event. Here are the key takeaways from the discussion:
On the home straight
Joining the Forum digitally and live direct from Tokyo, Olympic Games Operations Director Pierre Ducrey shared information on the final preparations for the Games and current day-to-day operations in the Japanese capital to ensure the event runs safely and securely.
“We’re working very closely with the Organising Committee, the City of Tokyo, the organisers in the government, and with Kirsty and the Athletes’ Commission… so that we can understand what is really critical to you [the athletes’] and input that into the documents we have been producing,” explained Pierre.
“We are running through the last steps of the preparation,” he continued. “At this moment, it is about making sure the finishing touches are put on the venues. We ran a number of test events recently… which gave us an opportunity to test the protocols to make sure that we have everything we need from a regular event standpoint, but also the additional complexity of the new COVID-19 countermeasures.”
Building on experience
IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell reminded the audience that all 33 sports on the Tokyo 2020 programme have returned to international competition since the postponement of the Games last July, and many of you who will compete in the summer now have experience of performing in an environment with COVID-19 countermeasures.
“Every single one of the 33 sports on the programme for Tokyo has returned to international competition, adapting to a COVID-19 environment, delivering safe competitions, and building experience themselves in delivering their sports in this environment,” said Kit.
“Equally, we’ve had over 42,000 athletes who have competed in those events. When we’ve got 47,000 athletes on the long list for Tokyo, which will go down to 11,000 over the coming weeks, most of those athletes have now competed internationally in this COVID-adapted environment in their respective sports.”
We’re in delivery mode now. We’ve got the key building blocks in place.
Kit McConnell, IOC Sports Director
Everything we’re doing is focused on you, the competing athlete, and making sure you have a safe environment where you don’t need to worry about anything other than your performance.
Kit went on to explain that between now and the start of the Games, the focus is on the details, stating: “We’re in delivery mode now. We’ve got the key building blocks in place. We’re really looking at the fine-tuning and how we can bring the different elements together”
“We’re just scenario planning every single day now. From the sports side, we’re working through the rules and regulations – for example, if an athlete or a team can’t participate in a certain match [because of COVID-19], how do we adapt to that? The key goals are always keeping everything safe and secure, but making sure competition can happen and everything else around that is flexible.”
Kit added: “Everything we’re doing is focused on you, the competing athlete, and making sure you have a safe environment where you don’t need to worry about anything other than your performance. That’s everything that is driving us forward.”