After the new dates of the already-postponed Tokyo Olympics were announced, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission welcomed the announcement and said that it has given the athletes a “much needed certainty”.
The IOC Athletes Commission, which also includes the 2008 Beijing Olympics and India’s only individual gold medalist Abhinav Bindra, praised the announcement of the new dates within three days of the event’s postponement due to the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in an official statement.
“We believe the confirmation of the new dates will give you much-needed certainty and allow you to focus on your health and safety, as well as the health of the wider community,” read a statement from the commission chaired by swimmer Kirsty Coventry, a two-time Olympic gold-winner.
“Additionally, having the Games in the summer period maximises the opportunity for all athletes, regardless of their country, to have the best possible preparation ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” it added.
The commission also showered praises for IOC’s decision to give the athletes, who had already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics before the novel coronavirus unleashed its ugly head, a direct entry into the postponed event.
The commission said it remains committed to advising athletes on “training and preparation, and mental and physical health; and anti-doping information and updates.”
“We know so many of you are facing an incredibly challenging time, both with your personal and sporting lives. We believe that, when we all come together in 2021, it will be an extra-special celebration of sport and humanity uniting after such a difficult time for all,” it said.
Last week, World Athletics president Sebastian Coe had said that postponing the Summer Games during these hard times has prevented the participating athletes from “mental turmoil”.
Meanwhile, after due consideration between the IOC, International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Tokyo Metropolitian Government, the new dates – July 23 to August 8, 2021 – of the Summer Games were announced on Monday.
An official statement from IOC also states that the Paralympic Games will now be held from 24 August to 5 September.
(With PTI inputs)