IOC President Thomas Bach Believes 2021 Olympics Will Be Held Despite Rise in COVID-19 Cases

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The Olympic Rings in Tokyo. Photo Courtesy: Tokyo 2020

IOC President Thomas Bach Believes 2021 Olympics Will Be Held Despite Rise in COVID-19 Cases

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach recently visited sites in Tokyo for the now 2021 Olympic Games and said “Tokyo Is the Best-Ever Prepared Olympic City.”

Bach discussed the struggles and status of the Olympics in a recent interview with Time Magazine. The games were postponed from 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but are pushing forward for 2021 despite a rise in cases in Japan and around the world.

A vaccine has started to be distributed in the U.S., but it is just beginning. The Olympics would have thousands of athletes coming from nearly 200 countries, not to mention spectators. That is a terrifying situation during a pandemic as many worry that the Games could instantly reboot the virus and spread it quickly around the world again.

Canceling the Olympics would be devastating to the world, which is in desperate need of a global coming together, but also for Japan, which has spent more than $12 billion as host, according to the Time report. Not everyone is so excited. A recent survey by the Kyodo News wire service found that only 38 percent of the Japanese people support continuing to host the Olympics next summer, while 31 percent want another postponement —  and close to 25 percent think they should be canceled altogether.

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The Olympics “would be the light at the end of this dark tunnel,” Thomas Bach said in the Time interview. “We have no reason to believe that the Games could not take place.”

He said that Tokyo is doing its best to adapt to the virus.

“Tokyo is the best-ever prepared Olympic city,” he said. “It’s very well planned and is already adapted to (COVID-19) requirements because there is enough space for social distancing. The Japanese have been thinking about every detail. The ceiling is seven meters high allowing for a good air circulation and so on.”

Thomas Bach said the possibility of an athlete bubble is a “work in progress” that depends on a lot of factors, including the vaccine.

Read the full Time interview here.

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