With less than 100 days to go, this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo, like everything else will be different from anything we have ever seen before. The world awaits in hope that the Olympic Movement and the power of sport can help the world heal, recover from difficult times and promote global harmony.
The Olympic Rings were installed on Wednesday during a special ceremony at the top of Mt. Takao, one of Tokyo's most popular vantage points. On 14 April, IOC President Thomas Bach marked the 100-day countdown to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with a group of riders from the International Cycling Union (UCI)’s World Cycling Centre in Switzerland. “Now the real countdown has started and, comparing it to an athlete, it is the final lap. So, we need to get ready for the final sprint – with regard to the organisation, but also with regard to the athletes. Now everybody has a clear vision of these Games,” said the IOC President. “The message to the athletes is ‘Here we go!’ It is just 100 days. These final days of preparations – I know from my own experience – are very, very important,” he explained.
On World Health Day, President Bach reiterated, in a recorded message, his call for governments to include sport and physical activity in their COVID-19 recovery programmes during an online webinar hosted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which also featured contributions from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Speaking at the event, which addressed the challenges and opportunities presented to sport and physical activity systems by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Bach invited national and international stakeholders to work with the Olympic Movement to use sport to help build a healthier society.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that the govt. would do 'everything possible' to prevent further contagion ahead of the games, after a ruling party official said cancelling the event remained an option. The 2020 Games, already delayed by one year, are due to begin in less than 100 days, even as Japan expands quasi-emergency measures to halt a fourth wave of infections.
Tokyo's Olympic chief said that Japan was committed to holding a safe Games this summer, as a surge in COVID-19 cases prompted an expansion of contagion controls. Olympic and government officials have said further postponement of the Games is out of the question. Preparations have included incorporating social distancing measures and other restrictions for the postponed Games, which are set to begin on July 23 and will be held without international spectators.