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IOC president Bach adamant Tokyo 2020 will go ahead

2021-01-28 15:21:00 Xinhuanet

BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has re-stated his confidence in Tokyo hosting the postponed Olympic Games this summer in an exclusive online interview with Xinhua on Thursday.

Responding to the rising debate over the viability of the Tokyo Olympics, Bach said: "The Olympic Games in Tokyo will open on the 23rd of July 2021. We are discussing not whether the Olympic Games will be held, [but rather] how the olympic games will be held."

"Everything is underway," he added. "The different measures and all these together make us so confident that we will have the opening ceremony in the evening at eight o'clock Japanese time on the 23rd of July."

Asked whether the games will be held behind closed doors, the IOC chief emphasized that his sole focus now is on having a safe games this summer.

"The first priority is to have safe Olympic Games, and we will take all the appropriate measures, which at the time of the Games [would] ensure safe Olympic Games.

"Of Course, everybody wants to have full-capacity stadiums full of Olympic spirit and enthusiasm, but the first priority is the safety of all participants," he said.

Asked about the prospect of entering the Olympic stadium on July 23rd, Bach said he would be "very happy."

"I think that the whole world will share this happiness with us. Because the Olympic Games are always meaningful. They are always a great demonstration of solidarity of unity in our world. They always give an example of how the world could look like when everybody would respect the same rules and not only the same rules, but also respect each other and live in solidarity with each other.

"These games in Tokyo are after this dark tunnel we still in. But when we come out of this tunnel in Tokyo, they will be even more meaningful because it will be the great message, not only of solidarity and unity, but will also be the great message of resilience of humankind. It will lead the way back to social life and to meeting each other, and understanding each other better.

"Therefore, I think this happiness will be shared by billions of people around the globe," he said. Enditem

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