Bach calls for Japan to warmly welcome athletes amid pandemic

Tokyo, Jul 14 (EFE).- The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, called on Wednesday for a “warm welcome” to athletes participating in the Games while urging Japanese citizens to adhere to Covid-19 protocols to avoid contagion.

“I ask the Japanese people to warmly welcome athletes from around the world who, like them, have overcome so many challenges, they have trained very hard for years and they look forward to this moment,” Bach told a press conference.

Bach said that the Tokyo 2020 Games will be historic for “many different reasons” including its unprecedented postponement and the challenges it has faced.

Many Japanese, including experts and the central government, have expressed concern that the Games will act as a coronavirus super-spreader as Tokyo is seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases ahead of the event.

Organizers maintain their stance on holding “safe” Games amid strict health restrictions including the cancellation of the traditional Olympic torch relay to the Olympic Stadium at the opening ceremony, scheduled for July 23.EFE


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