© Reuters. The Olympic rings are pictured in entrance of the IOC headquarters in Lausanne
By Karolos Grohmann
(Reuters) – Whereas most Japanese residents stay against the Tokyo Video games going forward in 100 days’ time, the Worldwide Olympic Committee hopes the temper will shift when individuals realise how a lot emphasis has been positioned on minimizing the chance of COVID-19 infections.
John Coates, the IOC’s chief coordinator for Tokyo, additionally mentioned tales of Japan’s sporting success, corresponding to Hideki Matsuyama’s Masters triumph on Sunday, would enhance assist for the Video games, which had been postponed by a yr as a result of pandemic.
With simply over three months to go earlier than the opening ceremony, organisers face a deluge of challenges with the pandemic affecting choices on the whole lot from athlete security to spectator numbers to ticket gross sales in addition to native public assist for the Olympics.
A Kyodo Information ballot this week confirmed greater than 70% of individuals in Japan need the Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled or delayed.
Tokyo on Monday started a month-long interval of quasi-emergency measures to blunt a fourth wave of infections and greater than 90% of respondents felt nervousness concerning the resurgence.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike mentioned at a ceremony marking 100 days to go on Wednesday that the battle towards “an invisible enemy” had been a significant ordeal for humanity however that she was decided to make the occasion a hit.
Coates mentioned in a media convention name that there was nonetheless time to get the general public to again the Olympics and that overcoming a destructive notion of the Video games was nothing new for the IOC.
“As soon as these tales begin popping out to the general public I’m very assured public opinion will flip,” Coates mentioned. “Sydney (2000 Olympics) was not trying too good earlier than however as soon as we obtained to 100 days it turned.”
Tokyo shall be like no different Olympics, nonetheless.
Each Video games participant will miss the same old celebratory environment throughout town and at their competitions, whereas testing shall be in depth.
Worldwide spectators have been banned and the IOC needed to shorten its invitation listing to solely key important people for the Video games. Organisers are but to resolve what to do with the home viewers.
“The athletes will nonetheless compete in the perfect situations,” Coates mentioned. “There shall be no international spectators or members of their households to assist them. They are going to be confined to the village and their sporting venues.
“They won’t go downtown to have fun. That shall be lacking (from the Olympics),” he mentioned.
These measures are all a part of an in depth plan drawn up by organisers to make sure the Video games will not be postponed or cancelled and other people in Japan must be in little question concerning the emphasis the IOC has positioned minimising the chance of an infection, Coates mentioned.
With some specialists involved Tokyo is on the cusp of an “explosive” bounce in COVID-19 instances, Coates was requested whether or not there have been any ideas of cancelling the Video games.
“Positively not. I do know Japanese organisers will not be contemplating cancellation,” he mentioned.
“We proceed to obtain the fullest assist. All the plans are in a worst case state of affairs and we hope to affect public opinion by way of security measures.”
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