Optimism surrounding the staging of the rescheduled Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo next year was given a boost by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach yesterday.
Bach, who was in Japan last week for an official visit, sent Tokyo 2020 aspirants an assuring and resounding message from the balcony of the water-side Olympic Village, promising them “unforgettable moments” at the venue.
“This is the place to be nine months from now. I am very happy to be able to greet you here from the Olympic Village in Tokyo,” said Bach in his video message.
“You will never ever forget these moments in the Olympic Village in all your life. And with the conditions our Japanese friends are offering here, the experience will be even more fantastic.”
IOC announced the postponement of both the Games in March following the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide. Restrictions are still largely in place in many countries as they continue to grapple with the pandemic but Bach encouraged athletes to keep working hard.
“Get ready for these Olympic Games and train even harder, even under these very difficult circumstances many of you, and most of you, are in at this moment. But if you look around again, it’s worth the effort. I am looking forward to seeing you at Tokyo 2020, in Tokyo 2020 plus one,” he said.
Bach, who met Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga during his trip, also inspected the Olympic Stadium, where he commended the atmosphere and architect Kengo Kuma’s design.
The IOC president was given assurance by Prime Minister Suga and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike about Japan’s commitment towards delivering two world class events next year.