Letter from IOC President Thomas Bach to athletes

Dear Athletes,

As an Olympian myself, I know how you feel these days. You want to focus on competition and training, and you do not want to be distracted from your preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Unfortunately, the coronavirus is a major concern for all of us. It goes without saying that it was also a major subject of discussion of the IOC Executive Board in the past two days.

As a result of the many consultations we had and are having with the World Health Organization (WHO), with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, with the Tokyo Metropolitan government, the Japanese government and many authorities around the world, in particular the Chinese, I can assure you that the IOC is fully committed to successful Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, starting 24 July. These regular consultations are continuing so that we can address any new developments.

Of course, we know that the ongoing Olympic qualification is challenging and that it requires a lot of flexibility from you, your National Olympic Committee (NOC) and your International Federation (IF). Some of you had to change your competition schedule, training and travel plans because of venue changes and travel restrictions. I want to personally thank you for all this flexibility and solidarity, which is the true Olympic spirit.

Rest assured that the IOC continues to work hard with the NOCs and the IFs to find solutions for these challenges and to ensure a fair Olympic qualification under these circumstances. We will continue to receive updates on a daily basis and to follow the advice of WHO, which is the leading United Nations agency on health issues.

We will provide you with this reliable first-hand information on your dedicated platform, Athlete365. This will allow you to better adapt to the situation in all your preparations leading up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

In this respect it is one of the many initiatives of the IOC to support you on and off the field of play, be it directly and/or through your NOC and your IF. Please make use of all these benefits and resources available to you. I also encourage you to stay in close contact with your respective athletes’ representatives.
I hope that with all this support you can fully concentrate on your Olympic preparations. Please go ahead with “full steam”. Then we, the Olympic community, can once more unite the whole world in a peaceful competition. This is what makes the Olympic Games so unique and you, as the main actors of this Olympic community, will inspire billions of people around the globe.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and wishing you all the very best, I remain,

Thomas Bach

IOC press release