FILE PHOTO : Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attend the ‘One Year to Go’ ceremony celebrating one year out from the start of the summer games at Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo, Japan July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
TOKYO (Reuters) – The rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics will require sacrifices and compromises by all involved, IOC chief Thomas Bach said on Wednesday, before predicting the completion of “a beautiful jigsaw puzzle and wonderful Olympic Games”.
“Our mission is to organize Games and make dreams of athletes come true,” Bach said, adding that although the rescheduled Olympics must be held before the end of Summer 2021, the as-yet-undecided dates would not necessarily be restricted to summer months.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japanese government finally succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies as the coronavirus spread around the world when they agreed on Tuesday to put back the Games until 2021.
It was a huge blow to Japan, which has invested $12 billion in preparations, but also for the prestige of the Olympic movement and Bach himself, who had come under fire for not reacting sooner in the face of the global health crisis.
An IOC coordination commission, that has been overseeing preparations, will now work toward determining a new date for next year amid a chaotic sports calendar, severely disrupted by the virus.