The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) says planning and preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games is still underway despite global disruption due to COVID-19.
It comes as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed the event will go ahead from July 2020.
“We recognise there is a global health crisis,” said AOC CEO Matt Carroll.
“We recognise that people are suffering – people are sick, people are losing jobs, businesses are struggling amid enormous community uncertainty. Things are changing everyday and we all must adapt.
“Equally, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), advised by the World Health Organisation, has assured us that the Olympic Games in Tokyo are proceeding in four months.
“We owe it to our Australian athletes to do everything we can to ensure they will participate with the best opportunity in those Games.”
IOC remains ‘fully committed’ to 2020 Olympic Games
The IOC said its “fully committed” to the event, set to kick off in just four months.
“This is an unprecedented situation for the whole world, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis,” the IOC said in a statement.
“We are in solidarity with the whole of society to do everything to contain the virus.
“The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive.
“The IOC encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as best they can.”
Health and safety a top priority
The AOC said its focus is to ensure the Australian athletes get to games “healthy, prepared and virus free”.
“We will continue to monitor and make ongoing decisions to ensure we meet our responsibilities,” said Carroll.
The AOC has undertaken a number of measures in the past week to ensure the health and safety of the athletes, including:
- Postponing Team Appeal dinners
- Cancelling March sport planning trip to Tokyo
- AOC Annual General Meeting to be conducted in an on-line environment
- AOC staff working from home
- Risk mitigation protocols for team selection announcements and events
- Suspension of the Olympics Live planning around live sites and other events