Amidst worry over the rising cases of Covid-19 in its second wave, Olympic Chief Thomas Bach insists he is still optimistic that the embattled Tokyo Olympics can go on.
The International Olympic Committee president faced up to the media Wednesday amid growing concern about the safety of the Games in six months’ time given the continued spread of coronavirus.
But Bach says he has gained confidence that they can take place having seen other sports do so safely in recent months, with the IOC set to release a ‘playbook’ of countermeasures next month.
Bach said: ‘It is clearly not irresponsible. If we would think the Games could not be safe, we would not go for it.
‘We are gaining even more confidence from the effectiveness of the countermeasures which are being applied right now at sports events across the world. This is why we are so, so confident.’
Bach wants as many athletes as possible to be vaccinated, although he insists that is just ‘part of the measures’ and not the ‘silver bullet’.
But when asked whether spectators would attend the Games, he said: ‘This I cannot tell you. We will do whatever is needed to organise a safe Games.
‘Everybody would love to have full capacity stadia and roaring crowds. If that is not possible, we will respect our principles and that is the safe organisation. This is the first priority. Everything else has to have second priority.’