IOC urges 'unwavering commitment' by Games hosts
TOKYO: Tokyo and other upcoming Olympic host cities must make an “unwavering commitment” to achieving a successful Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urged on Monday, as cost overruns plague the run-up to Tokyo’s 2020 event.
In a video message to a debriefing in the Japanese capital on the Rio Olympics, IOC chief Thomas Bach hailed them as “marvellous games” held in a “marvellous city.”
“Organising the Olympic Games is an intensive process that requires creativity, discipline and collaboration with many people and stakeholders,” he said.
“Most importantly, it requires unwavering commitment.”
The three-day debriefing has drawn senior officials from the IOC and Olympic organisers from Rio and Tokyo as well as the hosts of the Winter Games in 2018, South Korea’s Pyeongchang, and 2022, which are being held in Beijing.
Among others taking part were Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike and Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes.
Bach has previously praised the Rio Games, which were generally seen as successful despite Brazil's political and economic crisis and security and attendance problems.
Koike, now spearheading a cost-cutting fight, told the meeting that she wants to learn from Rio, where she said materials for some facilities were recycled to build a school.
Koike said that Tokyo wants to introduce a spirit of avoiding wastefulness by “drawing on efforts in Rio as well as the IOC’s long experience, wisdom and knowledge”.
The debriefing came as negotiations over options for moving some Tokyo 2020 venues intensified.