Olympics

IOC President Thomas Bach opens door to staging Tokyo Games in spring

REUTERS, AFP-JIJI

The rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics will require sacrifices and compromises by all involved, International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach said on Wednesday, before predicting the completion of "a beautiful jigsaw puzzle and wonderful Olympic Games."

"Our mission is to organize games and make dreams of athletes come true," Bach said.

Bach also left the door open for the Olympics, which the IOC said needed to be held no later than the summer of 2021, to take place in the spring instead of the normal summer slot.

"This is not restricted just to the summer months," Bach said in a conference call. "All the options are on the table, before and including the summer of 2021."

The IOC and Japanese government finally succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies as the coronavirus spread around the world, agreeing on Tuesday to postpone the games until 2021.

It was a huge blow to Japan, which has invested $12 billion in preparations, but also for the prestige of the Olympic movement and Bach himself, who had come under fire for not reacting sooner in the face of the global health crisis.

An IOC coordination commission, which has been overseeing preparations, will now work towards determining a new date for next year amid a chaotic sports calendar that has been severely disrupted by the virus.

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