July 9, 2021

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Tokyo Olympics face ‘real problems,’ Australia Olympic head says

Tokyo Video games organizers face “real problems” staging the Olympics subsequent yr as coronavirus infections proceed to soar, senior worldwide Olympic official John Coates stated.

Coates, Australia’s Olympic chief and head of the Worldwide Olympic Committee’s inspectorate for Tokyo, stated organizers needed to assume there could be no vaccine for COVID-19, or none in adequate amount, in time for the Video games.

“We’ve got real problems because we’ve got athletes having to come from 206 different nations,” Coates informed a roundtable held by Australia’s Information Corp.

“Yesterday, there was 10,000 new instances in Brazil. Only a few international locations are as superior in dealing with this as [Australia].

“[Japanese] Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe says Video games can solely occur in 2021. We will not postpone it once more and we’ve got to imagine that there will not be a vaccine or, if there’s a vaccine, it will not be adequate to share world wide.”

In March, the IOC and Japanese authorities took the unprecedented choice to delay the Video games, which had been resulting from begin in July, for a yr as a result of coronavirus outbreak.

‘Very totally different’ Olympics

COVID-19 has contaminated greater than 5 million individuals and killed about 334,000 individuals world wide, with international locations like Brazil and the USA fighting hundreds of latest instances on daily basis.

Coates stated Video games organizers would want to start out planning in October for what could possibly be a “very totally different” Olympics if there have been no indicators COVID-19 was being eradicated.

“By October this yr, if there are indicators that it’s being contained however not eradicated, then we’re beginning to work by means of it and we’re getting ready for it now, the totally different eventualities by which the game may happen,” he stated.

“Can we quarantine the Olympic Village? Do all athletes once they get there go into quarantine? Can we prohibit having spectators on the venues? Can we separate the athletes from the blended zone the place the media are?

“We’ll have an entire vary of eventualities we’ll begin to tackle this yr on the premise that the Video games will nonetheless happen for the athletes subsequent yr.

“But it surely could possibly be a really totally different Video games to what we’re used to.”

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