IOC’s Thomas Bach says vaccines won’t be ‘silver bullet’ for staging Tokyo Olympics

Amid uncertainty about planning the Tokyo Olympics, IOC president Thomas Bach said Wednesday that progress with vaccines and rapid testing for COVID-19 would not be the complete answer for staging the rescheduled games.

“They will not be the silver bullet but they can greatly facilitate the organization of the games,” Bach said at a news conference after an International Olympic Committee board meeting.

While the Japanese public has been skeptical about the July 23-Aug. 8 games going ahead, Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto said this week “I feel we have to hold them no matter what.”

Bach declined Wednesday to speculate on the Tokyo Olympics being held without fans in the venues as has become the global reality for sports in 2020.

“We don’t know how the world looks like tomorrow,” Bach said. “So how can you expect from us to know how the world looks in 320 days from today?”

He asked athletes to accept any demands made of them in travelling to and staying in Japan next year.

“Nobody can just look at him or herself and say `I do not want this’ or `I don’t think this is fair.’ You have to show solidarity there in order to fight the virus,” Bach said. “If you need a quarantine to ensure a safe environment for all the participants of the games, then you need to go to quarantine.”

WATCH | IOC’s Dick Pound discusses the power of the Olympics: 

CBC Sports’ Scott Russell spoke with International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound about the power of the Olympics and why it’s important to still hold the 2020 Games. 4:00



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