— Published 19 November 2020

Words and facts

Thomas Bach garnered all the attention, especially in the media, but the IOC’s visit to Tokyo this week was also the occasion for a project review between the Olympic body, its Paralympic equivalent (IPC), and the organisation committee. Obviously, the meetings held from November 16 to 18 inspired confidence and optimism in John Coates, the chairman of the Tokyo Games Coordination Commission. “It is a very positive sign that we have been able to return to Japan at this stage of the preparations”, said the Australian leader. “The discussions over the past three days have reinforced our shared determination to organise a safe and successful Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. While the next few months will be crucial, remarkable progress has already been made and, thanks to a positive momentum, we will continue to support Tokyo 2020 through the challenges ahead as we prepare for an unforgettable Games in 2021”. The same story goes for Andrew Parsons, the president of the IPC, who joined the discussions from a distance. “Never before in history has such a level of planning and preparation been achieved in hosting a major sporting event,” said the Brazilian. “Nothing is left to chance as all partners work together to ensure the safety and success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer in Tokyo”. So much for the speeches. Regarding the facts and figures, we will have to be patient. The IOC and Japanese organisers have not specified the date on which the anti-coronavirus measures and how they will be applied at the Games would be detailed. They also did not announce when the additional cost of postponing the event would be known.