Letter by IOC President Thomas Bach to the Olympic Movement

17 Sep 2021
IOC News IOC President

IOC Moscow 1980

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Dear Presidents and Friends,
Dear Athletes,

With just over a month since the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits.

We could only make the first-ever postponed Olympic Games a reality because of the unified and powerful support of everyone in our Olympic community. This is all the more remarkable given the many challenges we had to face in last months of the pandemic.

Therefore, please accept my heartfelt thanks and gratitude for your valuable contribution and dedication to the success of these Olympic Games. These were unprecedented Olympic Games and it took an equally unprecedented effort from all of us to make them happen in a safe and secure manner for everyone.

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were the Olympic Games of hope, solidarity and peace. The athletes across all 33 Olympic sports, from 205 National Olympic Committees and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, sent this resounding message from Tokyo to the world.

The world’s best athletes inspired us with unforgettable performances. For the first time since the pandemic began, the world came together through the power of sport and the achievements of the athletes. In this way, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 gave the world much-needed hope in these difficult times. This is what the Olympic Games are all about: bringing the world together in peace and solidarity and giving humankind faith in the future.

We now have the unique opportunity to reinforce this Olympic message once again in just a few months’ time. With winter approaching, our focus is now fully on the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

While the pandemic is far from over, I would like to reassure you that together with our Chinese partners and friends, we are sparing no effort to make these Olympic Winter Games safe and secure for everyone. As we did in Tokyo, we are putting in place rigorous COVID-19 countermeasures to ensure the health and safety of all Olympic participants in Beijing. We continue to be guided in this by the scientific advice of the World Health Organization and international experts. The first edition of the Playbooks for Beijing, which outline all the countermeasures for each stakeholder group, is scheduled to be published in October.

In this context, I am happy to announce that also for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 we will have a vaccination programme, which worked so effectively for Tokyo. This means that we will once again support our stakeholders by making vaccines available to all Olympic participants ahead of Beijing, in line of course with national regulations.

Already now, I would like to encourage those National Olympic Committees who require additional vaccine doses for their delegations, their National Paralympic Committees and other Olympic stakeholders in their territory, to inform our NOC Relations Department as soon as possible so that we can  put the necessary arrangements in place.

The excellent cooperation that we are enjoying with our Chinese partners and friends, as well as the relevant Chinese health authorities, gives us all great confidence that we will again have safe and secure Olympic Games. 

In these difficult times we are living through, we see how relevant the overarching mission of the Olympic Games is to unite the world through peaceful competition. The Olympic Games send this message of peace, unity and solidarity, regardless of where they take place. The power of the Olympic Games is their universality. This is why the Olympic Games belong to all humankind. Therefore, the rules of our Olympic Charter guarantee equal rights for everyone at any edition of the Olympic Games. Only in this way can the Olympic Games become the world’s most powerful symbol of unity in all our diversity.

In the weeks and months ahead of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, I very much hope that we can continue to count on your support for the sake of all the athletes who are preparing so hard to make their Olympic dream come true. The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 come at an important moment to bring the world together in the Olympic spirit of peace, solidarity and unity. It will once again be the athletes of these Olympic Games that will send this message of the unifying power of sport to the world. This is why the athletes deserve our utmost support to ensure that they can prepare in full concentration on their sport and compete in the best possible conditions in every respect.

In this Olympic spirit, I am looking forward to continue with our stakeholder consultation calls, which have proven to be a fruitful format to exchange our views and chart the course ahead for our Olympic community.

Looking forward to this great pleasure of speaking with you very soon again, I remain,

Sincerely Yours,
Thomas Bach

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