Senior IOC member Richard Pound says Summer Games ‘a go’-Sports News , Novi Reporter

Senior IOC member Richard Pound says Summer season Video games ‘a go’-Sports activities Information , Novi Reporter

Japanese public sentiment is in opposition to the mega occasion, with polls exhibiting a majority within the nation need the Olympics delayed additional or altogether cancelled.

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Senior IOC member Richard Pound says Summer Games 'a go'

File picture of Richard Pound. AFP

Ottawa: The Worldwide Olympic Committee’s longest serving member assured on Thursday that the Tokyo Video games are “a go,” as IOC officers huddled with native organisers for on-line talks.

“There’s nothing to point that there is an elephant within the room that we do not find out about,” Richard Pound advised AFP two months earlier than the scheduled begin of the Video games, which have already been pushed from final yr because of the pandemic.

Japanese public sentiment is in opposition to the mega occasion, with polls exhibiting a majority within the nation need the Olympics delayed additional or altogether cancelled.

“Primarily based on the whole lot we all know immediately it is Japan, Tokyo a go,” Pound mentioned, including, “I’ve my ticket.”

“If the host nation (Japan) does not wish to host, it does not host,” he mentioned, however added that the IOC in the end retains “the ability to cancel the Video games if the situations are harmful sufficient.”

Organisers have outlined intensive virus countermeasures to maintain the Olympics protected, together with barring abroad followers for the primary time ever.

However with Japan battling a fourth wave of infections, docs’ associations have warned that the healthcare system is already overstretched and the Video games might add additional stress.

As presently deliberate, there shall be much less “celebratory stuff, the streets (will not be) crammed with athletes and spectators and so forth. The thrill of being in an Olympic metropolis, that is going to be much more subdued,” Pound mentioned.

Athletes shall be examined for COVID-19 on the Tokyo airport upon arrival after which successfully remoted on the Olympic village. After competing, they are going to be requested to shortly depart the nation.

“It is not going to have all of the frills and bells and whistles that we have come to count on,” he mentioned. “That sort of atmosphere shouldn’t be going to be there.”

However “there shall be Olympic competitions and the athletes from all 206 international locations are anticipated to take part.”

‘Simply persist via it’

Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion who later turned the primary president of the World Anti-Doping Company, acknowledged the pushback in Japan in opposition to the Video games, however downplayed its probability of forcing a cancellation.

He drew parallels with the 1984 Video games in Los Angeles during which there have been considerations “about what number of Olympic athletes had been going to die due to the smog,” and a Zika virus outbreak previous to the 2016 Video games in Rio de Janeiro.

“It was the fallacious season and the fallacious space (for Zika) however individuals nonetheless thought that Zika would decimate the crowds and the athletes,” he mentioned. In the long run, no overseas guests to the Rio Video games contracted the virus.

“So you have to count on a few of that stuff and simply persist via it,” he mentioned, including that “communications could possibly be higher to try to reassure the general public at massive.”

“In the intervening time, the large query is will there be spectators and if that’s the case, what proportion of the venues shall be out there.”

He mentioned the IOC has agreed, along with banning overseas spectators, to halving the variety of individuals with Olympic obligations getting into Japan from abroad for the Olympics, which occur from 23 July to eight August.

If the Video games are cancelled on the final minute, Pound mentioned, “actually there could be large disappointment on the a part of the athletes, (and) world wide that this chance couldn’t be seized upon.”

The IOC, sponsors, broadcasters and “virtually anyone linked with the dangers” of placing on the world’s premier sporting occasion, he mentioned, are insured for that eventuality.

Monetary losses ensuing from a cancellation “could be important.”

But it surely “wouldn’t put your complete worldwide sports activities system or the Olympic motion in dire straits,” Pound assured. “We might should tighten the belts a bit of bit in fact however it actually wouldn’t trigger monetary wreck.”

It will, nevertheless, be regrettable for opponents as “three out of 4 Olympic athletes get one kick on the can,” he mentioned.

The Video games have solely been cancelled on three events, due to World Struggle I in 1916 and as a result of World Struggle II in 1940 and 1946.

The coronavirus pandemic, Pound mentioned, is actually the most important “existential risk because the Spanish flu” (1918-1920), however he added that vaccines now exist for it, and “we all know the best way to stop the transmission of it with masks, social distancing and all that type of stuff.”

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