The athletes and the IOC President came together by the official Tokyo 2020 countdown clock in the Olympic Capital of Lausanne at the very moment that marked exactly 100 days to go to the Olympic Games.
A group of riders from the International Cycling Union’s World Cycling Centre in Switzerland today met IOC President Thomas Bach to kick off the final countdown to the Olympic Games @Tokyo2020 this summer. #100DaysToGo #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/Xa3WVvO7C4— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) April 14, 2021
“Now the real countdown has started and, comparing it to an athlete, it is the final lap. So, we need to get ready for the final sprint – with regard to the organisation, but also with regard to the athletes. Now everybody has a clear vision of these Games,” said the IOC President.
“The message to the athletes is ‘Here we go!’ It is just 100 days. These final days of preparations – I know from my own experience – are very, very important,” he explained.
The group of ten road cycling and mountain bike riders included athletes from four continents (Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe). With some still hoping to qualify for the Games this summer, including Olympic scholarship-holder Tumelo Makae, from Lesotho, they heard words of encouragement and advice from President Bach, himself an Olympic champion in fencing at Montreal 1976.
“Our coach gave us a good advice at 100 days to go to our Olympic Games. He said: ‘Right now, we have discussed all the problems we may face when it comes to the Games. If anything comes up that we have not discussed before, it's not a problem.’ This proved to be extremely well advised.”
“I can only tell the athletes: get ready in this spirit. We'll be waiting for you in the Tokyo Olympic Stadium on 23 July,” President Bach concluded.