The International Olympic Committee’s athletes commission on Tuesday welcomed the announcement of new dates for the Olympics, saying the declaration has given those bound for Tokyo “much-needed certainty” after the mega-event’s postponement to 2021.
In a statement, the IOC athletes commission, which also features India’s lone individual Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra, lauded the announcement of new dates — July 23 to August 8, 2021 — within days of the event’s postponement due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“We believe the confirmation of the new dates will give you much-needed certainty and allow you to focus on your health and safety, as well as the health of the wider community,” read a statement from the commission chaired by swimmer Kirsty Coventry, a two-time Olympic gold-winner.
“Additionally, having the Games in the summer period maximises the opportunity for all athletes, regardless of their country, to have the best possible preparation ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” it added.
The commission also welcomed the IOC’s announcement that those who have qualified for the Games before the qualifying schedule was thrown haywire by the pandemic, will remain Tokyo-bound.
The commission said it remains committed to advising athletes on “training and preparation, and mental and physical health; and anti-doping information and updates.”
“We know so many of you are facing an incredibly challenging time, both with your personal and sporting lives.
“We believe that, when we all come together in 2021, it will be an extra-special celebration of sport and humanity uniting after such a difficult time for all,” it said.