Tokyo Olympics: Cancellation of this year’s Games ‘essentially irrelevant’


Speaking to CNN’s Selina Wang, Pound insisted that all indications suggest that a “bubble” around those who participate in Tokyo can be maintained, but he stopped before guaranteeing that it will be. completely safe in the midst of the pandemic.

“No one can guarantee anything. I mean, let’s be reasonable about it,” he said.

“But everything indicates that the bubble can be created and nurtured and that every day, or however often the tests are carried out, will identify any indication that there may be people infected with the virus. They will be put in isolation. after.”

Earlier this year, Pound – who is the longest-serving IOC member – estimated the likelihood of the Games being around 75%, but now claims the likelihood is much higher, as experts learn more about the virus every day.

“None of the people involved in the planning and execution of the Games are considering the cancellation,” he added.

“It’s basically off the table. If there’s a huge event of a kind that we can’t predict that might take place in the next 60 days, who knows.”

READ: What could happen if the Tokyo Olympics are canceled?

‘A glimmer of hope’

Although the IOC remains steadfast in its convictions, frustration is growing among the Japanese public who fear to welcome thousands of people from around the world as the country continues to grapple with the virus.

Japan is currently grappling with a fourth wave of infections, and health experts and business leaders are increasingly pushing to cancel the Games.

Earlier this month, the Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association, an organization of about 6,000 physicians in Tokyo, wrote a letter calling for an annulment, while a petition that garnered 350,000 signatures in nine days in support of ‘a cancellation has been submitted to the organizers.

But Pound said staging the Games in just under two months would be a symbol of hope for the world after such a difficult year.

The & # 39;  Lost games: & # 39;  When the Olympics are stopped by extraordinary world events

“The hope is that despite all of these difficulties – and they are many and sure enough – we can pull off an event of this nature, without any significant risk, and bring everyone together in something that has always been a beacon of hope and success in a difficult world, it will have been worth it ”, he declared.

Organizers encouraged Games participants to get vaccinated before traveling to Japan and published a “Playbook” of Covid-19 protocols and restrictions.

IOC President Thomas Bach said the main goal now is to provide the sporting spectacle as safe as possible.

“We are starting the last round before these postponed Olympic Games. Just like the athletes who are preparing for these Games with so much focus and focus, we are also preparing for this final sprint,” he said on Tuesday at the conference. Virtual Forum of the International Federation.

“In this home stretch, our top priority remains the organization of a safe and secure Olympic Games for all – the athletes and all participants as well as our gracious hosts, the Japanese people.”

“That is why, along with all of our Japanese partners and friends, we have put in place comprehensive Covid-19 countermeasures to ensure that athletes around the world can come together in a safe environment for all.

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