The Tokyo Olympics begin on July 23, followed by the Paralympics on August 24.© AFP
Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), believes that political boycotts against sporting events are disrespectful and go against the mission of the Games. Bach believed that the Olympics should continue to be apolitical and should be a vehicle for gathering people. The Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23, followed by the Paralympics on August 24. “The most notable manifestations of this lack of respect are calls for a boycott of sporting events or a boycott of countries hosting sports events,” Kyodo News told Bach. at a conference on Thursday.
“Such sports boycotts are against the role of the Olympic Games in building bridges. They destroy the principle of political neutrality and have proven that they have achieved nothing,” he argued.
Giving his address directly to about 500 participants from the Lausanne (Switzerland) Olympic Center, Bach said history shows that sport is the main force to unite when politics fails.
“The Olympics cannot meet all the political and social challenges of our world that political generations could not solve. But they can set an example for a world where everyone has the same rules and respects for others.”
“When athletes from all 206 National Olympic Committees and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team finally meet for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics 50 days from now, on July 23, they will send a strong message from Tokyo to the world: a message of peace, solidarity and strength.”
Bach’s comments have arrived in Japan at a time when opposition to organizing the COVID-19 Pandemic Olympics remains strong, but the COI, government officials and local organizers have decided to move forward. So far only North Korea has confirmed that it will not send Athletes to Tokyo due to concerns about the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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