Planning a pandemic Games – The Agenda with Stephen Cole
WHAT'S THE ISSUE?
To say the Tokyo Olympics have felt somewhat jinxed is perhaps an understatement. For the first time outside of a world war, the Games have had to be postponed – by a year due the COVID-19 pandemic.
Then international spectators were banned from attending, then the Japanese public were told a maximum of 10,000 people would be allowed in any stadium, and finally, just a fortnight before the opening ceremony, the organizing committee had to admit defeat and close venues to all spectators.
Here, Tatsuo Ogura, Director of International Communications from the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games explains to The Agenda with Stephen Cole how the decision was made to hold the Games in the midst of a pandemic.
MEET THE EXPERT
Tatsuo Ogura is the Project Director of International Communications at Tokyo 2020, where he is leading the international communications team to convey the message from Tokyo 2020 to a global audience. Before joining Tokyo 2020 in May 2016, he was the public relations manager for Japan's national swimming team.
WHAT DOES OGURA SAY?
"This is an unprecedented situation for everybody in the world, and for us that was really challenging," Ogura reveals. "No other organizing committee has experienced a postponed games."
But he insists that Tokyo is ready for a great, and perhaps most importantly, safe Olympic Games: "We have been working on COVID-19 countermeasures with all stakeholders to the games, including medical experts," he says, "And we do believe we can show the power of sport at the Olympic and Paralympic Games under these circumstances."
ALSO ON THE AGENDA:
- Dan Orlowitz, sports writer from the Japan Times, reflects the mood of the people of Tokyo ahead of what should have been a once-in-a-lifetime sporting event.
- Hugh Robertson, Chair of the British Olympic Association, explains just how you prepare a nation's athletes for the biggest sporting event in the world in the time of a global health crisis.