Athletes express full support for Tokyo Olympics at the International Athletes’ Forum

The International Athletes’ Forum, the largest ever athlete representation event, ran from 26th and 27th May with nearly 2000 participants. Attending the virtual event were members from 199 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), summer and winter Olympic sports federations, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) and NOC Continental Associations, along with representatives from the World Olympians Association (WOA) and members of various National Olympians Associations.

Over the two days, athlete representatives discussed various topics such as athlete well being and support with contributions of mental health and safeguarding. Discussions about the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 were held on the second day along with a dedicated Q&A with IOC President Thomas Bach.

Jessica Fox (Australia, canoe slalom), said: “These last 12 months have been really challenging for athletes all over the world. We’ve all had to adapt and had our preparations disrupted in some way.

“The important thing has always been detaching myself from the idea of an ideal preparation and really being set on one thing and being able to be fluid and adaptable. We’ve had to make the most of the restrictions here and not being able to travel overseas for competitions. But I’m really looking forward to finally getting over there. There’s been great communication from the IOC, and I have full confidence in everyone at the Tokyo Organising Committee to put on a safe Olympic Games.”

Tamás Tóth (Hungary, triathlon), World Triathlon Athletes’ Committee (AC) Chair, reported: “Two weeks ago, we successfully delivered our first bubble system in Yokohama, which was our first Olympic qualification race this year. Over 117 elite athletes competed there, and I would like to reassure all of my fellow Olympians who are preparing for Tokyo about the service from the IOC, and from the host nation. From the moment that you arrive at the airport you’re guided to your hotel, and the professionalism at the training venues was so amazing that I’m super confident about how it’ll be done in Tokyo. The Japanese perfection was there and I’m really looking forward to the Games.”

Heather Daly-Donofrio, International Golf Federation AC Chair, said, “Golf was the first of the major professional sports to come back, and we’ve been holding tournaments around the world – Europe, Asia, Middle East, the Americas – and, albeit a smaller scale than the Olympics, we’ve been able to cross these borders and continents safely and successfully not just for the athletes, but also for the communities and the countries in which we’ve played. Everything I’ve read coming out of the IOC and the playbooks and heard today, I’m just super confident that the IOC and Tokyo will deliver the same for the Olympic Games.”

 Athletes expressed their excitement and their confidence at the International Athletes’ Forum and reiterated their commitment to the safety measures put in place to deliver a safe Olympics not just for the participants but also the people of Japan. 


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