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Tokyo Olympics 2020: Just a year to go

If things go well and the world is able to contain coronavirus, the world will on this day next year, celebrate the opening of the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.

By Rajan Nath -- July 22, 2020 6:07 pm -- Updated:Feb 15, 2021

The International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the City of Tokyo, will mark July 23, 2020, as the One-Year-to-Go milestone before the postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are held in 2021.

A series of activities have been planned to mark this occasion, under the message of the Olympic brand campaign #Stronger Together, that recognizes the importance of solidarity and unity in all our diversity during these difficult times, acknowledging the power of sport and in particular, the Olympic Games to bring people together.

Activities will be digitally-led, centered around the Olympic flame, and the resilience and strength of the athletes as they prepare for the Games. This will be supplemented by an exclusive media event in Tokyo to mark one year until the Games begin. Olympic Movement stakeholders will also be activating across their digital and social media over the coming days, to show their support for all the athletes and Tokyo 2020.

The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) will also release a video incorporating messages of respect and gratitude for all those supporting the Games, and support for the athletes aiming to participate in next year’s Games.

Besides the IOC, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the City of Tokyo, besides the International Sports Federations (ISFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs), athletes, officials, sponsors and other stakeholders are keeping their fingers crossed hoping for early revival of sports activity so that all could start their preparations in the right perspective.

It is for the first time in the history that any Olympic Games have been postponed. Intriguingly, this month also marks the 40th anniversary of the first boycott of the Olympic Games in 1980. Looking back at the boycott, the IOC chief, Thomas Bach,, said that “boycott achieved nothing at all.”

This has been admitted by also by other major actors, at least in Germany, who was there at that time. Some of them “a couple of months later in conversations told me “we made a mistake’.This was not the right thing to do. And even the then Chancellor of Germany, who was really pressing German athletes at that time in favor of the boycott, also finally admitted that it was a mistake.

A US-led boycott reduced the number of participating nations to 80, the lowest number since 1956, as part of a series of measures to protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1079.

The IOC chief Tomas Bach, who won Olympic Gold in fencing for West Germany in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, represented his country’s athletes in the public debate over whether the country should boycott the Games, where Germany decided against going to Moscow. Thomas Bach missed the participation in the 1980 Olympic Games.

Coronavirus Olympics Games Postponed

“And you can see the facts. The Soviet Army which was the reason for the boycott remained in Afghanistan for nine more years. And the athletes then were hit in many countries, not only by the boycott of 1980 but also by the boycott of 1984 which was the revenge boycott,” Thomas Bach had said in his message on the 40th anniversary of Moscow boycott.

“So you had, in fact, two generations of athletes losing their Olympic dream, having prepared for years for nothing. And being sanctioned and punished for something they have nothing to do with, and what they would have never supported,” he added.

Thomas Bach IOC President | Olympian German Olympics

Besides Germany joining the boycott, Canada and Japan supported the sanction which was instigated by the USA and its President, Jimmy Carter. Some governments, like those of Great Britain and Australia, supported the boycott but allowed the athletes to decide for themselves whether to go to Moscow or not.

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Thomas Bach hopes that such a situation never arises again and that athletes are not denied the chance to fulfill their Olympic ambitions. It may be pertinent to mention that Thomas Bach is keen that Tokyo Olympic Games are held and not called off. He has also let his intentions known of seeking another term as IOC chief at the 2021 Olympic session in Athens.

-PTC News

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