WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
The stadiums may be empty, but more than 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries still head to Tokyo to participate in events marking the height of their individual sport.
So how do you organize a national team’s participation in a global sporting event in the midst of a pandemic – making sure they have time to train and protect themselves and the Japanese people from COVID? -19?
Hugh Robertson, President of the British Olympic Association joined The agenda with Stephen Cole to discuss issues in preparing athletes for pandemic games.
MEET THE EXPERT
Hugh Robertson is the current president of the British Olympic Association.
Previously he was UK Minister for Sport and the Olympics responsible for delivering London 2012. He oversaw all aspects of the budget, construction, operational management and legacy and was also Minister for Sport for an unprecedented period of British sporting success.
This included securing the most ambitious program of major sporting events ever for this country and providing the best funding ever for Olympic sport up to Rio 2016 and beyond.
WHAT IS ROBERTSON SAYING?
“It will be a game like no other,” said Robertson. “But I think you have to remember that for athletes it’s all about sport. Once there, they’ll want to do what every Olympic athlete before them wanted to do, which is to win a gold medal and that remains unchanged. “
But he adds that the COVID testing level has added an extra layer of organization: “We do absolutely everything we can to make sure that we not only test our athletes to make sure they show up to the start line in the best shape possible, but that they do so in a way that protects the host population. “
“We’re all going to have to learn to live with COVID and learn to live with it in a way that allows us to return to some form of normalcy while keeping everyone as safe as possible. And I think the Olympics will be. a great example of that. “
ALSO ON THE PROGRAM:
– Tatsuo Ogura – Director of International Communication of the Organizing Committee for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games joins us in discussing the decision to go ahead with the event despite the pandemic, and he hopes his city can still put on an incredible sporting spectacle.
– Dan Orlowitz, Japan Times sports reporter, joins us in reflecting the mood of the people of Tokyo before what should have been a unique sporting event.
FIND MORE STORIES FROM THE AGENDA WITH STEPHEN COLE HERE