Tokyo 2021 #1YearToGo

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Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics reportedly estimate the postponement of the Games is set to cost an additional $1.9 billion (£1.4 billion/€1.6 billion).

Tokyo 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japanese Government will determine next month how much of the additional cost each will take on, Kyodo News reports.

The Games were postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Olympics now scheduled for July 23 to August 8 and the Paralympics set to be held from August 24 to September 5.

Additional costs have surfaced from expenses related to securing venues, equipment rental, storage fees, and extra labour.

In May, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach predicted the postponement of Tokyo 2020 would cost the governing body $800 million (£601 million/€669 million).

With $150 million (£113 million/€125 million) of this figure set to form an "aid package" for the Olympic Movement, the remainder was put aside for the organisation of the Games.

Since then, Tokyo 2020 and the IOC have announced 50 cost-cutting measures which are claimed to save $288 million (£217 million/€241 million).

These include a cut to the number of officials attending the Games, infrastructure reforms that will reduce the amount of lighting and additional temporary power supplies for venues, and the elimination of ceremonies at the Athletes' Village and prior to the Opening Ceremony.

The simplification measures have been dubbed the "Tokyo Model" by Tokyo 2020 and the IOC, with suggestions future host countries can learn from the cost-cutting steps.

Tokyo 2020 was set to cost around $13 billion (£9.7 billion/€10.8 billion) before it was postponed in March.

Of this, the Organising Committee was due to cover $5.8 billion (£4.4 billion/€4.8 billion), the Tokyo Metropolitan Government $5.7 billion (£4.3 billion/€4.8 billion) and the Japanese Government the remaining $1.4 billion (£1 billion/€1.2 billion)

Organisers are continuing to devise coronavirus countermeasures to ensure the Games can take place safely next year.

The wearing of face masks and social distancing is expected to be mandatory, while athletes will be encouraged to limit their stay in Japan after competition.

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshirō Mutō has said measures for fans, including non-Japanese residents, would be drawn up by the spring, with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike revealing her hopes of holding the Games with "full spectators present".

Hopes of a successful staging of the Games have been boosted by progress in the development of COVID-19 vaccines, although it may still be some time before they are available to the wider public.

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has suggested the organisation will shoulder some of the costs of vaccinating participants for COVID-19 at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next year.

Speaking during his first visit to Japan since the coronavirus pandemic hit, Bach said fans at Tokyo 2020 are likely to require vaccinations to protect the Japanese public but denied claims it would be a requirement for overseas visitors to enter the Olympic and Paralympic host country.

Bach also reiterated his view that the IOC was growing increasingly confident fans will be able to attend the Games, rescheduled to 2021 due to the global health crisis.

Tokyo 2020 organisers and the IOC were last week boosted by the news that a vaccine being developed by American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and BioNTech has been found to be 90 per cent effective in preventing people from getting the virus after global trials.

Bach, who has previously insisted a vaccine is not a "silver bullet" for the Games taking place, said the IOC was in talks with manufacturers and other health experts but claimed the organisation would not jump the queue ahead of those who need a vaccination most.

"In order to protect the Japanese people and out of respect for the Japanese people, the IOC will undertake great effort so that as many (people) as possible – Olympic participants and visitors will arrive here (with a) vaccine if by then a vaccine is available," Bach said today.

"This makes us all very confident that we can have spectators in the Olympics stadium next year and that spectators will enjoy a safe environment.

"The first priority has to be a vaccine for the nurses, the medical doctors and the people who keep our society alive.

"If afterwards a vaccine is available, the IOC would bear the cost so that participants can be offered a vaccine."

Bach held his first face-to-face meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, where the two officials repeated their intention to hold the Games as planned.

The Olympics are due to run from July 23 to August 8, before the Paralympics take centre stage between August 24 and September 5.

"In this meeting, we were totally aligned in the full determination and confidence to make the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Paralympic Games a great success next summer here in Tokyo," Bach said.

"Together we can make these Olympics Games and the Olympic Flame the light at the end of the tunnel."

Suga, who succeeded Shinzō Abe as Prime Minister in September, "explained that we are making various considerations on the premise of having spectators and agreed with President Bach to work closely together toward realising a safe and secure Olympics".

Organisers are relying on a coronavirus countermeasures taskforce, formed of officials from the Japanese Government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo 2020, to come up with measures and ways to allow the Games to run as scheduled in 2021.

Policies are expected to be announced before the end of the year.

Bach also met with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike for talks on preparations for the Games on the first day of his four-day visit.

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has sought to reassure Chefs de Mission for Tokyo 2020 that their athletes will be able to fulfil their "Olympic dream" next year.

Speaking during a video message during a Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission seminar today, Bach promised the organisation was "working at full speed...to ensure the Games are fit for a post-coronavirus world".

In keeping with the recent declarations from senior IOC and Tokyo 2020 officials that the Olympic and Paralympic Games will go ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic, Bach struck an optimistic tone throughout the message.

He said a series of countermeasures being devised for Tokyo 2020 will ensure the IOC and organisers are "prepared for safe Olympic Games...in whatever conditions the world will be in" in 2021.

"Even in these ever-changing times, many of the operation details that are on top of all Chefs de Mission minds are still being worked on," Bach said.

"But please rest assured that we are focused on developing a tool box of COVID countermeasures for every possible scenario."

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshirō Mori also gave a video message prior to the webinar, telling Chefs de Mission aspects of the simplification measures set to be implemented by organisers at the Games "will affect you all".

Organisers claimed last week the various cost-cutting measures, including a reduction in the number of officials at the Games by 10 to 15 per cent and removing welcome ceremonies at the Athletes' Village and prior to the Opening Ceremony, could save up to $280 million (£217 million/€238 million).

Mori repeated his assertion that coronavirus countermeasures for the Games were "our biggest challenge" but insisted organisers were "united in their efforts" to hold a safe Olympics and Paralympics in 2021.

The Tokyo 2020 President said the Olympics opening on July 23 next year "will be a moment of solidarity and unity that mankind has never experienced before".

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TOKYO, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Monday that the Tokyo Olympic Games will be held under any circumstances the world will face next summer.

In a video message released by the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, Bach told Chef de Missions of all national Olympic committees, "I am sure the question today in your mind is: will the athletes make their Olympic dream come true in 10 months from now? In this regard, I can reassure you that we are working at full speed with our Japanese partners and friends to ensure safe Olympic Games that are fit for the post-corona world."

He added, "Tokyo continues to be the best prepared Olympic city. The health and safety of all concerned remain our top priority."

"We are focused on developing a tool box of COVID countermeasures for every possible scenario," he said, adding that "encouraging development of rapid testing and vaccines give us good reason for cautious optimism."

"We are prepared for safe Olympic Games whatever conditions the world will be facing next summer," he said.

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Jereem “The Dream” Richards returns to the United States today to continue his preparations for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Richards arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on March 6. Never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined he would still be here seven months later. But Covid-19 has...

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