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2020 tokyo olympics

Coates says Tokyo Games face 'real problems' due to COVID-19


Tokyo Games organizers face "real problems" staging the Olympics next year as coronavirus infections continue to soar, senior international Olympic official John Coates said.

Coates, Australia's Olympic chief and head of the International Olympic Committee's inspectorate for Tokyo, said organizers had to assume there would be no vaccine for COVID-19, or none in sufficient quantity, in time for the Games.

"We've got real problems because we've got athletes having to come from 206 different nations," Coates told a roundtable held by Australia's News Corp.

"Yesterday, there was 10,000 new cases in Brazil. Very few countries are as advanced in coping with this as (Australia). "(Japanese) Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe says Games can only happen in 2021. We can't postpone it again and we have to assume that there won't be a vaccine or, if there is a vaccine, it won't be sufficient to share around the world."

In March, the IOC and Japanese government took the unprecedented decision to delay the Games, which had been due to start in July, for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

COVID-19 has infected more than five million people and killed about 334,000 people around the world, with countries like Brazil and the United States struggling with thousands of new cases every day.

Coates said Games organizers would need to start planning in October for what could be a "very different" Olympics if there were no signs COVID-19 was being eradicated.

"By October this year, if there are signs that it is being contained but not eradicated, then we are starting to work through — and we're preparing for it now — the different scenarios by which the sport could take place," he said.

"Do we quarantine the Olympic Village? Do all athletes when they get there go into quarantine? Do we restrict having spectators at the venues? Do we separate the athletes from the mixed zone where the media are?

"We'll have a whole range of scenarios we'll start to address this year on the basis that the Games will still take place for the athletes next year. But it could be a very different Games to what we're used to."

© (Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Oh you don"t say!? Color me surprised. Wish I pulled Coates salary for stating the obvious.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Stating the obvious or what? He's really implying the Games are off.But most people know that here and abroad,barring a vaccine pronto.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

He's really implying the Games are off.But most people know that here and abroad,barring a vaccine pronto.

No, he is not. There is a better than decent chance Tokyo/Sapporo 2021 can be held, if the venues, incoming athletes and Olympic village are properly quarantined, testing is conducted rigorously, etc. Incoming fans from overseas will likely be absent. A scaled down Games would clearly be the way forward.

The IOC have over a year to learn from other professional sports competitions that are taking place right now in some places.

Extreme caution is required, but there is no need to be super negative. Of course, all sports everywhere could be brought undone by all the "open everything up now" halfwits.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This thing may have to be cancelled altogether. Too bad for Tokyo and Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Seems to me that it would be a straightforward matter of requiring certification of a negative test in countries of origin 14-21 days prior to departure followed by self-isolation, then re-testing upon arrival. Any resulting exclusions would be on an individual athlete basis. No different than requiring certain vaccinations for travel.

They need to make every effort to figure this out as there will be no more extensions. Massive bankruptcies are on the horizon for multiple industries if Japan cannot recoup some gain from the games.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think that 2021 is too soon to pull off without a vaccine, and of course they don't want to have them in 2022, because there is a winter Games and a World Cup, so why don't they right now say that the 2024 Games will be in Tokyo, and 2028 will be Paris. That gives Tokyo three years to build a new Olympic village, sell the ones they have now, and everybody is happy. If seems to be the only fare way!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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