IOC President Thomas Bach addressed the world’s leaders at the virtual G20 Summit on the subject of staging safe and secure Olympic Games.

The support for Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 expressed in the Summit’s final declaration represents a major boost to athletes worldwide.

This was another important milestone in the preparations for Tokyo 2020, following President Bach’s visit to the Olympic Village earlier in November.

On 22 November, IOC President Thomas Bach addressed the world’s leaders assembled at the virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit, hosted by the G20 Presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the final declaration of the Summit, the leaders expressed their support for the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022.

The final declaration said: “As a symbol of humanity’s resilience and global unity in overcoming COVID-19, we commend Japan’s determination to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 next year. (…) We look forward to the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.”

This is an important milestone in the preparations for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo and Beijing, and a major boost to all of you who are training towards those Games in these difficult circumstances.

‘A great symbol of global solidarity’ 

IOC President Thomas Bach joined the virtual Summit for an address to the leaders, upon invitation by the Saudi G20 presidency.

“Sport can save lives. During this coronavirus crisis, we all have seen how important sport is for physical and mental health,” the IOC President said in his speech. “The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged this by signing a cooperation agreement with the IOC. Following this agreement, the UN, the WHO and the IOC launched a co-branded campaign called ‘Healthy Together’, rolling out projects internationally. Furthermore, we are preparing to contribute to a worldwide pro-vaccination campaign.”

The IOC President asked the G20 participants to support the political neutrality of the Olympic Games and the IOC: “Therefore, I humbly appeal to you to support our political neutrality, allowing us to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games this great symbol of global solidarity without any discrimination.”

Japan and WHO committed to staging safe and secure Games 

Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide had said: “I am determined to hold the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as a symbol that humankind has overcome the virus. I heard that the IOC President Thomas Bach, who I met the other day, has the same determination. We will continue to make our utmost efforts to realise safe and secure Games.”

Support for the Games was also expressed by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO: “Finally, I would like to welcome Prime Minister Suga, and assure him that WHO is working with the IOC to make next year’s Tokyo Olympics a success, and a symbol of hope for the world.”

Check out the IOC President’s message to you from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village