Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has praised biking for displaying that main occasions just like the Tour de France and World Championships might be held throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with an IOC activity power eager to be taught from biking to assist make sure the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games go forward.
Bach spoke to worldwide media, together with Cyclingnews, in Imola whereas attending the street race World Championships in Imola. He once more insisted the Tokyo Olympic Video games could be held in July subsequent 12 months, admitting that different scenario exist depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic subsequent summer season and on the supply of a vaccine.
Highway, observe, BMX, BMX Freestyle and mountain bike occasions will all be a part of the Tokyo Video games, with the lads’s street race scheduled for July 24, six days after the top of the Tour de France. The ladies’s race is scheduled for July 25, adopted by the point trials after which observe racing.
“Biking has performed a really specific function. There was the Tour de France and now the World Championships, the 2 most advanced occasions to date at worldwide stage. The success of those occasions provides us and the whole sports activities motion numerous confidence. I might prefer to thank the UCI for taking over this duty and organising in a really accountable method,” Bach mentioned.
“It makes all us very assured as a result of we have seen within the final couple of months that you could massive sporting occasions in a protected surroundings, even with no vaccine.”
Bach has at all times defended his dedication to carry the Tokyo Video games. After they have been postponed to 2021, he’s hoping a vaccine and fast testing may help make sure the video games go forward however is conscious the COVID-19 pandemic remains to be evolving.
“I can’t even speculate a couple of cancellation of Tokyo, we’re making ready for Tokyo and making ready for various situations however we’re making ready for the Video games to begin on July 23 subsequent 12 months,” he mentioned when requested a couple of deadline for a last choice.
“We’re very assured that on the subject of Tokyo, we will then profit from extra instruments, within the struggle towards the virus. We have seen two developments: we could have an increasing number of dependable so-called fast assessments, with a outcome inside 15-20 minutes. Then the consultants inform us that we might be very, very assured that we’ll have vaccines. This is able to significantly facilitate the organisation of the Olympic Video games.
Bach mentioned vaccinating everybody participating within the Tokyo may assist make sure the Video games go forward.
“A vaccine alone is just not a silver bullet, it doesn’t resolve all the issues, however it might be a part of our so-called toolbox,” Bach mentioned.
“Till a couple of weeks in the past, we would ready for various situations. Then we acquired this encouraging information over the summer season and so now we add the situation that we may have vaccines out there and fast testing. There is a situation the place we would shield all of the individuals on the video games with an compulsory vaccination, or maybe for various teams relying on the circumstances on the time.”
Limiting the variety of spectators on the venue, together with the indoor velodrome, might be an possibility however the ever-changing standing of the COVID-19 pandemic means it’s too early to resolve issues now.
“No person can count on us to say: The video games will appear to be this in ten months’ time,” Bach argued. “We and the governments don’t know the situations we now have to dwell in tomorrow. We do not know if subsequent week you may depart your own home if you must put on a masks or not, the place you may journey if it’s essential to quarantine or not.”
Bach is towards simplifying the Video games and refuted a tag of the ‘Pandemic Video games’ for Tokyo.
“Tokyo is not going to be the Pandemic Video games, they are going to be Video games match for the post-corona world,” he mentioned.
“We’ve to adapt to the brand new world we live in. This may have an affect on the Video games however they’ll hold their character of uniting the whole world. There would be the 206 Olympic Committees, the IOC refuge Olympic crew, the village, the opening, and shutting ceremonies. You will notice and really feel the Olympic spirit in Tokyo however tailored to the brand new world we live in.”
UCI president David Lappartient sat quietly as Bach spoke to the media. He has to safe the much-sought IOC Member standing and so was glad to listen to Bach reward the function biking could have in a post-COVID-19 pandemic world.
“Biking is an important sport and the significance of biking has grown tremendously within the final couple of months. If you happen to take a look at the exploding variety of individuals biking, be it in actual life, be it nearly, you then see a rising recognition. We hope this additionally extends to some Continents on the earth the place there may be potential for biking to develop,” Bach mentioned.
Bach solely had one caveat: the sustainability of velodromes constructed or used for the Olympics. To avoid wasting prices, the observe biking and mountain bike occasions on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games will happen in Izu, some 120km away from the Japanese capital.
“It means prioritising the usage of current venues. The velodrome might be the centre of an Olympic park or exterior. The precedence is for sustainability.”