World Sailing’s preparations for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are firmly on track following discussions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the Summer Olympic International Federations to ensure the Games proceed in a safe environment for the athletes, officials, locals and spectators.
In order to safeguard the Games, the IOC, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Tokyo 2020 have taken proactive steps to produce a robust series of Playbooks which outline the responsibilities of all Games participants – Federations, Press, Broadcasters, Athletes and Officials – and the rules that must be followed to ensure the Games remain safe.
The Playbooks have been developed jointly by the IOC, the IPC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and are based on the extensive work of the All Partners Task Force, which also includes the World Health Organisation, Government of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, independent experts and organisations from across the world.
The Playbooks can be viewed and downloaded here.
To further underline the safety-first approach to the Games and reassure all International Federations that the Games will be going ahead, Tokyo 2020 Sports Director, Mikako Kotani, and IOC Sports Director, Kit McConnell, recently led a detailed briefing and Q&A session to discuss the protocols and strengthen COVID counter-measures.
World Sailing President, Quanhai Li, commented, “World Sailing is fully committed to adapting and working with the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Japanese authorities to ensure a safe and successful Olympic Games. We thank the Olympic Family, the IOC and our friends from Tokyo 2020, for their ongoing efforts in organising a safe Olympic Games.”
David Graham, Chief Executive Officer, added, “This joint mission to hold the Games safely embodies the values of the Olympic Games through courage and determination. With the eyes of the world on Tokyo 2020 to deliver an uplifting, inspiring and spectacular Games, the International Federations appreciate the positive approach, commitment and dynamic leadership of IOC, ASOIF and Tokyo 2020 to safeguard the event and prioritise the health and wellbeing of everyone involved.”
Alastair Fox, Director of Events, commented, “The emphasis on safety at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will mirror the safe ‘bubble’ environment that major sports around the world have created over the past year to keep athletes, coaches, officials and media personnel safe. It has been proven to work and we are confident that this year’s Olympic Games will be an incredible success.”
World Sailing and all of the Summer Olympic International Federations have been in regular communication with IOC President Thomas Bach, the IOC Sports Department and Tokyo 2020 regarding safety procedures. The comprehensive safety plan will be strictly enforced and President Bach informed attendees that while it is not obligatory for athletes to take the vaccination, he strongly urges them to do so.
Tokyo will welcome 350 sailors from 60 nations to race across the ten Olympic sailing events on Sagami Bay in Enoshima, Japan. Despite the delay, sailors around the world have maintained focus and sharpness by continuing their preparations with training camps and competitions as the clock ticks down to the first event on 23 July 2021.
Andrew Lewis of Trinidad and Tobago qualified for his third Olympic Games just over one year ago at the Hempel World Cup Series Event in Miami. After a period of training in his home country, Lewis will head to the Canary Islands, where he had previously completed a training camp, and remain there before travelling to Japan.
Like all of the sailors preparing, Lewis has high hopes for Tokyo 2020, “Seeing many, many other big sports creating bubbles, creating environments that are safe, has proven over and over, since the pandemic started, that it is possible.
“I am in full support of the Olympic Games happening and I know that the International Olympic Committee and the country of Japan have the ability to shine and showcase to the world a light at the end of the tunnel.”