Speaking at a thank-you event in Tokyo today, Bach said: “You have not only written history, you have also made history with these successful Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
“Each and every one of you can, and should be, extremely proud. I’m sure all of the Japanese people, after these Olympic Games, after being admired by the entire world, will be happy and proud of you.
“You have made history in the way that you delivered these flawless Games – without having any blueprint, without having any role model. It has never happened before in Olympic history, that a postponed Olympic Games could be organised. You did it. You did it in a way which was really impressive.”
He concluded by saying: “Please tell everybody how grateful the athletes of the world are. How grateful the IOC is. And how much the world admires what you have achieved for Japan.”
A day after awarding the Olympic Order in Gold – the IOC’s highest honour for individuals – to Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide, the IOC President presented the same honour to Tokyo Governor KOIKE Yuriko and Tokyo 2020 President HASHIMOTO Seiko. In addition, Bach presented the Olympic Order in Silver to Tokyo 2020 CEO MUTO Toshiro.
In his closing remarks, the IOC President paid tribute to the thousands of Tokyo 2020 workforce members, including volunteers, whose commitment, enthusiasm and friendliness ensured the Games were memorable for all those involved. This reinforced his comments during the Closing Ceremony during which he said: “A special thanks goes to all the volunteers. The smiles in your eyes have warmed our hearts.” Praise was also given to over 10,000 school children who contributed to a flower project which gathered inspiring messages and paintings for athletes that they had prepared for all the venues.