Aussie Olympic boss says Tokyo Games ‘100 per cent’ will go ahead

John Coates, Australia’s senior Olympic official, says the chance of the Tokyo Games going ahead as planned is “100 per cent”.

Feb 05, 2021, updated Feb 05, 2021
Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates. (Photo: Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates. (Photo: Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

In an interview with Nikkei Asia website, Coates, the vice president of the International Olympic Committee, said the Tokyo Games would definitely go ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic, global differences in vaccine rollouts and low public support in Japan.

“It’s difficult. It’s difficult, but the Games will take place,” Coates said in a video interview.

“The IOC and the Tokyo Organising Committee, the Japan Government, the Tokyo municipal government have been determined to host these games since the pandemic broke in February last year.

“We’ve maintained our resolve. And we see no impediment to that.”

Decisions on spectator attendance would be made as soon as March or April, Coates said, hinting there may be differing approaches to domestic and overseas attendees.

Coates, who is also the chair of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission, said the question of whether to postpone itself was flawed.

“It isn’t an option to postpone the Games,” he said.

Since Tokyo 2020 was postponed for the first time last year, countermeasures have been developed, he pointed out, and they aimed to make the Olympic Village “the safest place in Japan”.


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