RESCHEDULING the Tokyo Olympics “caused sleepless nights” but must go ahead “to give hope” for the future, says International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
Bach says cancellation “was never an option” despite the difficulties involved in hosting the event amid the Covid pandemic.
The opening ceremony for the delayed 2020 Games is on Friday.
“The IOC never abandons the athletes,” said Bach.
“Cancellation would have been the easy way for us. We could have drawn on the insurance that we had at the time and moved on to Paris 2024.
“But in fact, cancellation was never an option for us.
“In order to arrive at this day today, we had to give confidence. We had to show a way out of this crisis. We had to provide stability. We had to build trust. We had to give hope.”
Toshiro Muto, the head of the Games organising committee, did not rule out a late cancellation of the event if there is a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Muto said he would keep an eye on infection numbers and hold discussions with organisers if necessary.