Following a virtual meeting today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) acknowledged the continued progress being made towards all forthcoming Olympic Games, as local Organising Committees continue to develop Games fit for a post-corona world.
Updates to the IOC EB highlighted the advances being made in each host city, providing renewed optimism for global sports following the recent challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This, in particular, was discussed in relation to the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Games in a joint meeting with the IOC Athletes’ Commission. Speaking after the meeting concluded, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The discussions turned around creating the safe environment for the athletes and all concerned, and to exchange information about the toolbox of COVID countermeasures which is now being put together in a close cooperation between our Japanese partners and friends, and in particular the task force established by the Japanese Government and by our task force with regard to these countermeasures. There we agreed that these (tools) must have first priority. But we also agreed that implementing these measures will then need a lot of discipline and a lot of flexibility because we see right now, in particular in Europe at this moment in time, but also in other parts of the world, that the best regulations, which help to contain the virus, are only effective if the people are really following and respecting the regulations. And this was also expressed by the Athletes Commission, who considers that the respect for these regulations to also be a matter of solidarity between the athletes and everybody who is living in the Olympic Village."
This reinforced the IOC’s message that the health and safety of everyone remains the top priority. A written report on Tokyo also highlighted that regular communication with key stakeholder groups is essential to the success of the delivery of Tokyo 2020 and that recent briefings have been given through Chef de Mission Webinars, an IF Seminar, a Virtual World Broadcasters Briefing and a Press Operations Update. These provided important information relating to several areas, including COVID-19 countermeasure planning and the recent cost saving measures.
It was also noted that a joint IOC-IPC Project Review will take place next week between 16 and 18 November, with President Bach set to visit Japan during this period (15 to 18 November 2020).
On the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, President Bach noted: "We also had a report from Beijing 2022. There it was about the successful pre-homologation of the Sliding Centre and the preparations for a visit of four International Federations."
The pre-homologation at the Sliding Centre in Yanqing received support and compliments from both the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) and International Luge Federation (FIL), as well as the athletes and officials who attended, underlining the progress being made in China on the Games’ preparations.
The comprehensive COVID-19 countermeasures implemented at this event were detailed to the IOC EB. Not only did these measures create a safe environment for everyone involved, they also presented valuable learning opportunities.
Other notable Beijing 2022 activities shared with the IOC EB included the successful delivery of the World Press Briefing conducted between 19 and 22 October 2020, as well as IF venue visits taking place this week with the International Biathlon Union (IBU), World Curling Federation (WCF), International Skating Union (ISU) and International Ski Federation (FIS).
Finally, updates on Beijing 2022’s construction work were given, with structure capping finished in all Olympic Villages, all competition venues to be completed by the end of this year, and the Main Media Centre on course to be finished by July 2021.
In several written reports, the progress of some of the other Games’ Organising Committees was presented. For Paris 2024, this included the successful summer launches of the “Paris 2024 Club”, one of the Organising Committee’s active community participation programmes, as well as its “Impact 2024” programme for social development through sport.
There were also updates on Milano Cortina 2026 and Los Angeles 2028 following their first Coordination Commissions meetings held on 29 September and 28-29 October respectively, with the LA28 brand launch at the start of September a notable highlight for the Los Angeles Organising Committee.
In addition, an update was provided on the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026. This looked back at the second Coordination Commission meeting that took place in October, which focused on the finalised Edition Plan, the identification of the new opportunities that have arisen from the postponement from 2022 to 2026 and adapting the planning to the new dates.