PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER
The Olympic Games will take place without spectators from overseas the International Olympic Committee confirmed.
After weeks of mounting speculation, the International Olympic Committee was informed today of the decision by the Japanese parties.
“We share the disappointment of all enthusiastic Olympic fans from around the world, and of course the families and friends of the athletes, who were planning to come to the Games,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “For this I am truly sorry. We know that this is a great sacrifice for everybody. We have said from the very beginning of this pandemic that it will require sacrifices.
But we have also said that the first principle is safety. Every decision has to respect the principle of safety first. I know that our Japanese partners and friends did not reach this conclusion lightly. Together with them, the IOC’s top priority was, is and remains to organise safe Olympic and Paralympic Games for everyone: all the participants and, of course, our gracious hosts, the Japanese people. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the side of our Japanese partners and friends, without any kind of reservation, to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 a great success.”
Tickets purchased for the 2021 Games will be refunded, according to the statement.
Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto also made a statement regarding the decision.
“In many ways the Tokyo 2020 Games will be completely different to any previous Games,” Hashimoto said. “However, the essential of the Games will remain unchanged, as athletes give their utmost and inspire the world with transcendent performances. We are currently working on specific plans to share support remotely from around the world and help bring people together in ways suited to our current times. Even if you are no longer able to come to Japan this summer, we hope very much that you will continue to support the Tokyo 2020 Games.”