Athletes gave Tokyo 2020 a great Olympic soul, says IOC President Bach
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach stated he was concerned that Tokyo 2020 could become Games without a soul after spectators were barred from the stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tokyo: International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach stated he was concerned that Tokyo 2020 could become Games without a soul after spectators were barred from the stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"After we had to accept the decision to have no spectators, I must admit that I was concerned these Games could become Games without a soul. But what we have seen here is totally different. The athletes gave the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 a great Olympic soul," Thomas Bach said during the press conference ahead of the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Games.
"The atmosphere in the Olympic Village has been more intense than ever before. The friendship-building here was obvious. There were 2 feelings: Togetherness amongst athletes. The athletes were extremely grateful that the Games could happen and this spread from the Olympic Village to the competition venues, where the athletes were supporting each other."
"But it was not only that the athletes gave these Games an Olympic soul, it was also that the sporting level of these Games was extremely and surprisingly high. The Olympic Games were more youthful, more urban, more gender-balanced, bringing in new audiences, new communities and created new Olympians. What I can say from my meetings with the athletes from the new sports -- all are now enthusiastic Olympians. The Games have been a powerful demonstration of the unifying power of sport."
"This success and the importance of the solidarity approach is also demonstrated by a record number of 88 NOCs who have won medals to date. 836 athletes from 178 NOCs in 26 sports are Olympic Solidarity scholarship holders. Until last night they won 23 Gold, 25 Silver, 25 Bronze."
"Given the many political tensions, we have in this world, seeing all the athletes living together in the Olympic Village under one roof is a great manifestation of peace. It shows again: Without solidarity, there is no peace. This feeling was obviously shared by the world because billions of people around the globe were longing for such a unifying message of hope."
"Just to give you a few figures in this regard: We have passed the 600.000 COVID-19 tests mark. The 42.500 arrival tests had a very low positivity rate of 0.08%. The 571.000 screening tests had an even lower positivity rate of 0.02%. The Olympic Community has been the best-tested community anywhere in the world during the last few weeks," Bach pointed. (ANI)