Olympians are ask­ing IOC for clar­ity about hold­ing the Tokyo Games in July

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - SPORTS - By El­liot Al­mond

For a day, maybe, it seemed that Stan­ford alumna Ka­te­rina Ste­fanidi and other Olympians had fi­nally got­ten In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee lead­ers to wake up as they bar­rel onward in pur­suit of hold­ing the Tokyo Games this sum­mer.

Ste­fanidi, the reign­ing Olympic pole vault cham­pion from Greece, was among ath­letes to pub­licly ex­press con­cern this week af­ter IOC mem­bers and Ja­panese of­fi­cials left the im­pres­sion that the Sum­mer Olympics, July 24-Aug. 9, would go on as planned.

“It is putting us at risk,” Ste­fanidi told Reuters.

Even Spain’s Olympic Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent asked that the Games be post­poned be­cause his country’s ath­letes can­not train ad­e­quately four months be­fore­hand.

Af­ter the quick back­lash from ath­letes, the au­gust IOC sent out an­other state­ment: “This is an ex­cep­tional sit­u­a­tion which re­quires ex­cep­tional so­lu­tions. The IOC is com­mit­ted to find­ing a so­lu­tion with the least neg­a­tive im­pact for the ath­letes while pro­tect­ing the in­tegrity of the com­pe­ti­tion and the ath­letes’ health.”

By Thurs­day, they were back to de­fend­ing their pre­vi­ous po­si­tion. Ac­cord­ing to news re­ports, IOC lead­ers again in­sisted the Tokyo Games were on sched­ule in a con­fer­ence call with the Ja­panese Olympic Com­mit­tee and other Asian Olympic groups.

IOC pres­i­dent Thomas Bach said on the call that ev­ery na­tional Olympic com­mit­tee sup­ported the pol­icy — never mind Spain’s sports leader con­tra­dict­ing that claim.

Then came word from two Ital­ian se­nior sports ex­ec­u­tives urg­ing the IOC to re­vise its stance.

“I’m not against the Olympics. But say­ing that the Olympics will still go on is a big mis­take in com­mu­ni­ca­tion,” Gio­vanni


orker is dwarfed by the Olympics Rings on a barge Jan. 17, in the Odaiba district of Tokyo.


Ka­te­rina Ste­fanidi, Greek Olympic Cham­pion in pole vault, lights the al­tar dur­ing the Olympic flame han­dover cer­e­mony for the 2020Tokyo Sum­mer Olympics, in Athens, Thurs­day,

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