IOC President Thomas Bach reiterates full commitment to Tokyo 2020 Games this year

IOC to launch "playbooks" outlining coronavirus countermeasures for the Games in 2021. 

By Andrew Binner

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will go ahead as planned in 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach reiterated on Wednesday (January 27th) following a meeting of the IOC Executive Board.

Appearing through video link after the meeting, Bach outlined the full commitment to "the successful and safe delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, starting on 23 July with the Olympic Games and 24 August with the Paralympic Games.”

He added that all the federations responsible for the Olympic sports, and the National Olympic Committees (NOC's), had been involved in consultation calls in the past few days, and that "all of them are fully united and committed; all 206 National Olympic Committees, all the International Federations and the athletes are standing behind these Olympic Games."

"We see the same commitment on the Japanese side with the Japanese government, the Organising Committee and the Japanese Olympic Committee."

President Bach also revealed that the IOC would be publishing details of Covid-19 countermeasures for Tokyo 2020.

“Soon we will be able to release the first version of the so-called “playbooks” for the Games, which will explain the measures for the different stakeholder groups, to protect themselves and to protect others," he said.

"The first version of the playbooks will be presented to the National Olympic Committees and the Chefs de Mission at the beginning of February. So there, they – the NOCs, the athletes, everybody – can all trust that we are providing the facts and our planned countermeasures as the situation develops."

"The priority is always the same – safe and secure Games.” - Thomas Bach

The IOC President rejected suggestions that the Games could be moved to a different year or held in another city.

"We will not speculate on when they will take place, but how they will take place."

Olympic gold medallist Bach also outlined a commitment from the IOC to become a "climate positive" organisation by 2024, and align with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The IOC is already carbon neutral, but this move will see the Lausanne-based company offset more than 100 per cent of its remaining carbon emissions, mainly through the Olympic Forest project.