Intense pushback as International Olympic Committee insists Tokyo Olympics will go ahead as scheduled

  • Intense pushback as International Olympic Committee insists Tokyo Olympics will go ahead as scheduled

Intense pushback as International Olympic Committee insists Tokyo Olympics will go ahead as scheduled

Hayley Wickenheiser, a six-time Olympian and member of the IOC's athletes commission, was more pointed in her remarks.

A four-time Olympic gold medalist is among those criticizing the International Olympic Committee for continuing to insist that the 2020 Tokyo Games will go on as scheduled, despite the global uncertainty related to coronavirus.

Johnson-Thompson, the world heptathlon champion, criticised the IOC for telling athletes to "continue to prepare for the Olympic Games as best they can". "Sponsors and marketers can't market with any degree of sanity. we don't know what's happening in the next 24 hours, let alone in the next three months".

It stated further that the IOC will continue to act in a responsible way and have agreed to two main principles about the staging of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: Firstly, to protect the health of everyone involved and to support the containment of the virus and, secondly, to safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic sport.

British heptathlete and reigning world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson wrote on Twitter that she is struggling to reconcile the IOC's recommendation, to continue preparing for the Olympics as normal, with that of her local government, to remain home and avoid public spaces.

"We share the view that we must be realistic, but not panic", Mitchell said in a statement released by the IOC on behalf of the Oceania Olympic group.

Hayley Wickenheiser, a former hockey player for Canada and current International Olympic Committee member, wrote on social media Tuesday that the IOC's unwavering stance on the Tokyo Olympics is damaging to hopeful athletes who can not train or travel.

"I feel under pressure to train and keep the same routine, which is impossible", she wrote.

World heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson has returned to the United Kingdom after finding herself unable to train in France and said that the IOC's information was not compatible with the reality for athletes.

According to John Hopkins University, there are 882 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Japan. Kozo Tashima, the vice president of the Japanese Olympic Committee and president of the Japan Football Association, is undergoing treatment for the virus after returning from a UEFA board meeting in the Netherlands that included a stop in the US.

American pole vaulter Sandi Morris insisted that she was "going to be prepared" for the Olympics despite the virus outbreak.

Bach acknowledged that many athletes were concerned about qualifying events being cancelled, but noted that there were still four months to go until the games are set to be opened.

He also held a call with U.S. President Donald Trump, where the idea of postponing or cancelling the Games was not introduced during their discussion. "I'm hoping they will make the best decision for the world's health, but I don't see harm in waiting to the end of May or so to make the final decision".

The flame handover ceremony will still take place at the Athens' Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896. Stefanidi tweeted. "You are putting us in danger right now, today, not in 4 months".

But Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said Wednesday that it "would not make sense" to go on as scheduled if other countries can not send their athletes.

Wickenheiser, who is training to be a doctor and was voted to the International Olympic Committee by fellow athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, wrote on her Twitter account she was elected "to represent and protect athletes".