IOC Member Dick Pound: Giving Athletes Priority To Vaccine Is Best Way To Save Tokyo Games

Dick Pound, IOC member - Photos Courtesy: Tokyo 2020; inset - US Mission Canada

IOC vice-president Dick Pound believes giving athletes priority access to the covid-19 vaccine is the most “realistic way” to ensure the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead.

The Games are due to start on 23 July after being pushed back a year because of the coronavirus.

However, cases are surging once more with Britain and Germany in lockdown and Japanese broadcaster Asahi TV reporting on Wednesday that a month-long emergency will be declared in Tokyo and the surrounding areas from Saturday 9 January to 7 February.

Dick Pound

Dick Pound, IOC member and former head of WADA – Photo Courtesy: US Mission Canada

Again speculation is rife as to whether the Games will go ahead given they are scheduled to start less than seven months hence.

Pound, the 1962 Commonwealth 100m freestyle champion for Canada, believes prioritising athletes is the most viable way to save the Tokyo Games, telling Sky News:

“In Canada where we might have 300 or 400 hundred athletes – to take 300 or 400 vaccines out of several million in order to have Canada represented at an international event of this stature, character and level – I don’t think there would be any kind of a public outcry about that.