Tokyo 2021 #1YearToGo

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has sought to reassure Chefs de Mission for Tokyo 2020 that their athletes will be able to fulfil their "Olympic dream" next year.

Speaking during a video message during a Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission seminar today, Bach promised the organisation was "working at full speed...to ensure the Games are fit for a post-coronavirus world".

In keeping with the recent declarations from senior IOC and Tokyo 2020 officials that the Olympic and Paralympic Games will go ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic, Bach struck an optimistic tone throughout the message.

He said a series of countermeasures being devised for Tokyo 2020 will ensure the IOC and organisers are "prepared for safe Olympic Games...in whatever conditions the world will be in" in 2021.

"Even in these ever-changing times, many of the operation details that are on top of all Chefs de Mission minds are still being worked on," Bach said.

"But please rest assured that we are focused on developing a tool box of COVID countermeasures for every possible scenario."

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshirō Mori also gave a video message prior to the webinar, telling Chefs de Mission aspects of the simplification measures set to be implemented by organisers at the Games "will affect you all".

Organisers claimed last week the various cost-cutting measures, including a reduction in the number of officials at the Games by 10 to 15 per cent and removing welcome ceremonies at the Athletes' Village and prior to the Opening Ceremony, could save up to $280 million (£217 million/€238 million).

Mori repeated his assertion that coronavirus countermeasures for the Games were "our biggest challenge" but insisted organisers were "united in their efforts" to hold a safe Olympics and Paralympics in 2021.

The Tokyo 2020 President said the Olympics opening on July 23 next year "will be a moment of solidarity and unity that mankind has never experienced before".

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