Letter by IOC President Thomas Bach to the Olympic Movement

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach IOC / Greg Martin

Dear friends,

With less than one month to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on 23 July, we are well into the delivery phase of safe and secure Games. This is why I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for the extraordinary resilience and cooperation shown by all of you in organising these unprecedented postponed Olympic Games.

We have now entered the field of play, the competition is about to start, and like the athletes whom we serve, we need to keep our efforts and energy focused on achieving the best results. For that, now more than ever, we have to work together as one team. Each of you is critical to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. This event will be unlike any that we have experienced in the past. We are therefore counting on your cooperation and flexibility to ensure their success. 

Showing our strongest commitment to safe and secure Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, we must all respect the rules set out in the most recent version of the Playbooks. These Playbooks have been developed based on science, and take into consideration the complexity of organising an event like the Olympic Games. 

I need hardly remind you that we are all representing the Olympic Movement, and the eyes of the world will be on us, scrutinising our every action. This is why I strongly encourage you to join me in fully acquainting yourself with the third edition of the Playbooks, which explains in detail all of your responsibilities and all of the measures that will be taken to ensure safe and secure Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 for everyone.  

On top of all these very strict COVID-19 countermeasures, we have already now assurances that 84 per cent of the members of the NOC delegations will be vaccinated. The IOC team – the Members and the IOC staff – will arrive in Japan with close to 100 per cent of them vaccinated, or immune. According to our information, some 70 to 80 per cent of the media representatives will also be vaccinated. This, together with the strict testing regime and all of the other measures, clearly shows our profound respect for our Japanese hosts and for all of the participants of the Olympic Games. It demonstrates that solidarity runs strong in our Olympic community.

Even if these figures are already beyond our initial expectations, I nevertheless appeal to your Olympic ambition and passion to continue to make every effort to make these figures even higher and to keep us informed about your progress.

Counting on you in this shared endeavour, working together, these Games will be a light at the end of the tunnel in which we find ourselves, and a reminder to the world that we are all stronger together. Looking forward to seeing you soon in Tokyo,

I remain,

Yours sincerely

Thomas Bach

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