IOC delegation ends orientation seminar


Wrapping up a two-day orientation seminar, which hopes to provide a blueprint for Tokyo going forward as it prepares for the 2020 Games, Gilbert Felli, the executive director for the Olympic Games, stressed the importance of hands-on involvement and coordination.

The International Olympic Committee’s delegation, led by Felli, shared advice with organizers and their partners on managing the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tokyo plans to launch its organizing committee in February and must decide on a committee head. Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has been linked with the job.

During the seminar, Felli outlined the course of events over the next seven years to Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda and JOC members, the national federations of the 28 sports for Tokyo, as well as officials from the national and metropolitan governments.

“For the decision-making process, you will work with a mixture of government entities. It is very important that within the structure you have as much flexibility as possible. The structure should get as much independence as possible. It should be transparent but the people in charge must have free hands to serve the purpose of organizing the Games in seven years’ time.”

“It’s important to have structure where all the key players are inside. The body has to be flexible enough to be able to make quick and free decisions. You will have the government side and the other side is the market — marketing partners, ticketing, business — sometimes you need skill from business because government is too rigid,” Felli added.

The committee head will lead a four-member Olympic Board, which was the style adopted at the 2012 London Olympics.

“We want to avoid a concentration of power,” said Takeda. “This will make the decision-making run smoothly.”

Felli said it is the IOC’s job to prod the organizing committee in the right direction but leave the decision making to Tokyo.

“We at the IOC cannot give the response (about structure and size of the organizing committee), because we don’t know the legal structure of Japan, or how Japanese work together. Our role is to coach. Maybe we can help you find a better way to do something.”