“The World Is With You” − Message from IOC President to athletes following decision on spectators at Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has delivered a message of support to athletes arriving in Japan for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 after it was confirmed no spectators will be allowed at venues due to the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic.

President Bach emphasised that athlete safety was the number one priority for these Games, but assured athletes they will still have an Olympic experience to remember.

He said: “We all regret this decision for not having spectators – for the spectators, but even more so for the athletes, who will not be able to enjoy life in the Olympic atmosphere. But for the athletes, I think their feeling will be very different, because they will know that billions of people from around the globe are with them in their hearts, that they are supporting them, that they are feeling with them. So, the athletes should also appreciate this feeling, and should feel encouraged by this different and new form of support in unprecedented times.”

In order to keep all Games participants and the Japanese population safe, a series of Playbooks have been developed jointly by Tokyo 2020, the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee in close collaboration with the Government of Japan and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. They are based on the extensive work of the All Partners Task Force and collaborations with scientific experts and organisations from across the world.

A record 9,000 hours of action will be broadcast around the world. Athletes and fans will enjoy a unique digital experience as Tokyo 2020 will be a Games like never before.

President Bach added: “There will be a record number of hours of production for both TV and digital platforms to follow these Olympic Games and billions of people around the world will follow these Games and there will be also one or two other surprises about how fans will be able to join these Olympic Games and how families and friends can support the athletes, so it will be a creative and new approach. And I invite everybody to follow it, and to take part.

We can look forward to a great Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 under very special circumstances, but Tokyo is ready – the venues are marvellous, the Olympic Village is maybe the best that we ever had in Olympic Games. So everything is ready to have great Olympic competitions, and then the athletes can finally come and concentrate on what the Olympic Games are for in the essence – and these are the Olympic competitions.”

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will take place from July 23 to August 8 2021 and the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 from August 24 to September 5 2021.

Full details of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Playbooks can be found HERE

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