International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach warned all those stakeholders involved in the moving of the Games would have to make “sacrifices and compromises”. He said the turning point was when he heard the frightening warning from WHO on Monday (23) that the virus was spreading; even in Africa.
Bach said the postponed Olympic Games would “not be restricted to the summer months” and claimed all options were on the table after the event was delayed until 2021.
A taskforce called “Here We Go”, comprising members of the IOC Coordination Commission and the Organising Committee has been established to navigate the complicated challenges stemming from the first postponement of the Games in history.
The IOC President said a decision on the time of the rearranged event would be made “as soon as possible” and revealed the organisation will hold talks with the governing bodies of all 33 sports on the Tokyo 2020 programme tomorrow.
“We have to see with them what the options are,” Bach said on a conference call today.
“After having consulted with them we also have to take into account the sporting calendar around the Olympic Games and many, many other issues”.
Bach also admitted cancellation had been on the table but it was “very clear that this should not be something that the IOC would in any way favour”.
“We should come to a solution as soon as possible, but first priority should be the quality of the decision, to really be able to take the input of all stakeholders into account.
Bach described the postponement of the Games as a “huge jigsaw puzzle and every piece has to fit” and warned “sacrifices and compromises” would need to be made by all stakeholders to ensure the success of Tokyo 2020.
“If you take out one piece, the whole puzzle is destroyed,” he added.
“Having seen the proof of the professionalism and the dedication of the Organising Committee, I am really confident we can also master this first-ever challenge”.
“These postponed Olympic Games will need sacrifices, will need compromises by all stakeholders”.
“Games have never been postponed before, but we are nevertheless confident we can put a beautiful jigsaw puzzle and we can have a wonderful Olympic Games.”
“The use of the Olympic Village and other venues, which Bach could not guarantee would be available for the Games, and the impact of the postponement on the sporting calendar are among the key issues for the IOC in the lead-up to the rescheduled even”.
“This is one of the many thousands of questions this task force will have to address,” Bach said.
“We hope and we will do whatever we can so that there is an Olympic Village, the Village is where the heart of the Games beat.”
Bach insisted he had no regrets over how the crisis was handled and claimed a rising number of cases in Africa had forced the IOC and Japanese officials into action.