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IOC and Tokyo 2020 agree on provisions for delivering simplified Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and local organisers have made clear 52 measures that is hoped will lead to a safer Games in summer 2021.

The new measures are expected to not only streamline and simplify the event but reduce costs in the face of any future losses that could incur due to what the severity of the virus could be next summer.

Tokyo 2020 was postponed until 2021 after it became clear that the world-wide sporting event could not safely go ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

An announcement during the press conference by the IOC declared that the measures put forward have been “designed to maximise cost savings and increase efficiencies in the Games delivery.”

These measures, which have been split into the four main categories of stakeholders, infrastructure, promotion and other areas of interest, include: stakeholder personnel being cut to between 10 and 15 per cent, no athletes village entrance ceremony (93 ceremonies had been originally planned), transport services will be streamlined and a reduction in beverage and transportation expenses.

The Organising Committee will estimate the costs of the reductions and are expected to report the results in early October.

An Oxford University study has already found that the Tokyo 2020 games were to be the most expensive games held in history before the measures put in place for the 2021 event.

It has also been anticipated that a cut in the amount of attending spectators will be discussed, with some measures having looked to adjust activities too, to ensure the safety of both fans and the athletes themselves.

John Coates, the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission chair, recently maintained that next year’s Olympic Games will go ahead even if Covid-19 continues to cause disruption across the world or not. President Thomas Bach also went on to support this statement when he claimed that the Games are inevitable, even without a vaccine, which is what was expected by many to be the deciding factor as to whether the global sports event went ahead.

On Friday, when the meeting was held, Coates said: “Built from the principles outlined by the Joint IOC and Tokyo 2020 Steering Committee, these optimisations and simplifications mark an important step towards delivering a safe and successful Games in 2021. We owe it to the public to enact these measures during these challenging times, that’s why we’ve left no stone unturned and will continue to look for further opportunities over the coming months.”

Measures set out to help protect fans will also be provided for the protection of athletes, under seven grouped areas, which are travel/country access, physical distancing, personal protective equipment/cleaning, food and beverage, testing/tracking/isolation, information provision and vaccines.

“Considering the current state of the world, we have been discussing how we will be able to deliver a safe and secure Games that can win public understanding in these challenging times,” started Tokyo 2020 president Mori Yoshiro. ““This process will benefit future society” by “becoming a role model for future global events as people adapt to living in the new normal.

“We will continue to work hard on simplifications towards next year and ask for the continued cooperation of all those involved in the Games.”

Author: Jake Wilkin