Tokyo 2020 reassessing Olympic venue plan after IOC visit
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
(SFC) The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was carried out this week June 25-27 and though the experts were pleased with the progress a number of venue changes were discussed.
Earlier this month Yoichi Masuzoe, Governor of Tokyo carried out a review of the project plan as he was worried about the rising costs of construction and labor and was studying some adjustments. IOC President, Thomas Bach, has also concretely begun his Agenda 2020 studies and is looking into making staging the Games more cost effective and is really striving to eliminate white elephant venues.
The bottom line is all venues must be signed off not only by the IOC but by the International Sports Federations (IFs) that manage the events and they must rubber stamp their final approval on changes.
The Chair, Australian John Coates, declared that the IOC team was satisfied with the progress that had been carried out since they won the vote in Buenos Aires in September of 2013.
“We are very pleased with Tokyo 2020’s progress under the leadership of President Yoshiro Mori,” said Coates. “The Organising Committee and its government partners have got off to a quick start and are putting in place solid foundations for the next six years of preparations.”
“The close cooperation of all levels of government with Tokyo 2020 was clearly felt by the Commission, particularly following our meeting with Prime Minister Abe and with Governor Masuzoe’s participation in the visit. Their support for the Games, as well as the support of many high-profile Japanese personalities through the Tokyo 2020 Advisory Meeting, are greatly appreciated, and will stand the 2020 Games in good stead.
“Their commitment underlines that Tokyo 2020 is for all Japan, and is encouraging Japanese everywhere to get behind these Games and see how they can engage in helping Tokyo to welcome the world in 2020.”
The organizing committee has also enacted an all-out involvement throughout the country to engage Japanese citizens and to rally excitement about the upcoming Games. Some of them are at the National Olympic Committee training venues around the country, a signed agreement with 552 universities, volunteering opportunities, cultural programmes, the Olympic Torch Relay, and other major milestone events.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori tackled the venue discussion, “We are delighted to have been able to spend such a productive few days with John Coates, Chair of the Coordination Commission, the distinguished members of the Coordination Commission and the administrative staff of the IOC. We are also very pleased that we were able to create an atmosphere conducive to meaningful discussions throughout our meetings.
“I am happy to report that the Coordination Commission assessed the current status of our overall preparations very highly. The members of the Coordination Commission have a wealth of experience of the Games from a diverse array of perspectives, and we are extremely grateful for the valuable advice and guidance we have received from them.
“However, the members of the Commission did point out one or two things that need addressing. We will of course be incorporating all the advice we received into our preparations for the Games at the earliest opportunity.”
“With regard to the review of our venue plan, I informed the Coordination Commission that, based on such aspects as the kind of legacy we will leave, the impact of the Games on the lives of Tokyo residents and the cost of construction and maintenance of the venues, the Organising Committee will examine all issues closely and collaborate with the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and both domestic and international sports federations, to ensure the success of the Games.”
“Since Tokyo was elected as the host city for the 2020 Games, we have welcomed members of the IOC and the IPC to Tokyo, and have conducted several fruitful discussions. However, this is the first time that we have been able to welcome the members of the IOC Coordination Commission, and we were delighted to be able to spend three very productive days with them.
“Even though our team consists of members of the sporting community, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the national government and various related organisations, I was able to gain a real sense that all members of the Organising Committee were pulling together in the same direction as a truly integrated unit.
“Over the next six years, the members of the Coordination Commission and the Organising Committee will work together as a united team, all sailing in the same boat towards a shared objective, and I believe we have got off to an excellent start. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Chair of the Coordination Commission, John Coates, the IOC and the IPC, and I can assure you that all of us at the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will continue to exert our utmost efforts towards the successful delivery of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
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