International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach moved on Wednesday, March 18, to ease fears after complaints by athletes as Japan insisted it was not preparing for a postponement of the Tokyo Olympics. With the Olympic flame about to be handed by Greece to Japan, Bach said the IOC heard the athletes’ concerns on health and preparations as the virus continues to spread.
“Everybody realized that we have still more than four months to go and we will address this action, and we will keep acting in a responsible way in the interest of the athletes,” Bach said after a conference call with 220 athletes representatives. Meanwhile, Japan is still planning to host the Olympics as scheduled from July 24-Aug. 9.
Many sports events, some scheduled as far ahead as early June, have been cancelled or postponed, raising concerns among athletes.