Tokyo Olympic organizers reiterate ‘we will hold the games’

Tokyo Olympic organizers reiterate ‘we will hold the games’

TOKYO – The president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee had a easy message Tuesday for fellow members of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Celebration.

The video games will occur.

“It doesn’t matter what state of affairs could be with the coronavirus, we’ll maintain the video games,” Yoshiro Mori, who can be a former Japanese prime minister, instructed lawmakers. “We must always go on the dialogue of whether or not we’ll maintain the video games or not, however as an alternative focus on how we must always maintain it.”

Mori has been the primary cheerleader for a number of weeks in Japan, backed in Switzerland by Worldwide Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach as stories have swirled that the Olympics is likely to be canceled.

The IOC has aggressively pushed again and says the Olympics will open on July 23 with 11,000 athletes and tens of 1000’s of judges, officers, media, broadcasters, sponsors and VIPs. The Paralympics observe on Aug. 24 with 4,400 athletes.

A call about followers at venues is to be made within the spring, however it appears seemingly that followers from overseas will probably be excluded.

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Latest polls present about 80% of the Japanese public imagine the video games needs to be — or will probably be — canceled or postponed once more. Organizers should persuade them that the Olympics will occur and will probably be secure in a rustic that has managed COVID-19 higher than most.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday prolonged for one more month a state of emergency order for Tokyo and 9 prefectures. The unique order went into drive on Jan. 7 throughout a robust surge in new circumstances. Instances have been declining, however the coming Olympics depart no margin for error.

“The most important downside is the way in which Japanese individuals see the Olympics now,” Mori mentioned. “And secondly, how we must always proceed with the preparations for the video games whereas combating the coronavirus. These two factors are our main focus.”

Tokyo organizers and the IOC are rolling out their “Playbooks” on Wednesday. These are step-by-step rule books for athletes, officers, members of worldwide federations and others that designate what to do earlier than leaving dwelling. They’ll element testing in Japan, frequency of exams, guidelines for social distancing, and strict guidelines of conduct till departing Japan.

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Mori additionally defended the torch relay, which begins on March 25 in northern Japan and can crisscross the nation for 4 months with 10,000 runners headed to Tokyo. There was early speak of scrapping the occasion, however heavy sponsorship by Coca-Cola and Toyota made that tough.

“Mainly, shortening — like altering from three days to 2 days, or at some point, is out of the query,” Mori mentioned. “What I’m saying is that we’re aiming to discover a solution to keep away from shut contact (through the occasion).”

Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto, a former Olympian and a bronze medalist, mentioned athletes are caught within the center. Most go to just one Olympics and at the moment are distracted with rumors of cancellation.

“Athletes are beneath mentally difficult situations, asking themselves whether it is OK,” she mentioned. “The federal government has to verify to eliminate such issues for the athletes.”

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Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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