All 33 sports in support of Tokyo 2020

Published on January 27th, 2021

As sailors prepare to compete in one of the ten events of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, reassuring news comes from the International Olympic Committee as the organization is adamant the Games will be held this year despite the pandemic. So, too, is everybody else.

“At the moment, we’re positive that the games will be held,” said Francesco Ricci Bitti, president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations which represents all sports federations of the Summer Games. “They will be different games. But we, the federations, are open to accepting these changes. They will be spartan games, with all of the usual services reduced.”

There is too much at stake to not host the event. The federations and the IOC rely on the income, the sponsors have paid the bills, Japan has invested in infrastructure, and the athletes have committed their lives to it. Other sports are proving it can be done, so why not the Olympics?

The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers are set to roll out “playbooks” next week to explain how 15,400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and tens of thousands of others will try to safely enter Japan when the Olympics open in just under six months.

The planning is being made public to push back against reports that the Olympics will be canceled with Tokyo and much of Japan still under a state of emergency with COVID-19 cases rising.

“Right now there is no alternative option,” Ricci Bitti said. “As (IOC president Thomas) Bach said, a Plan B doesn’t exist. Everything else is pure speculation. Whoever talks about that is doing harm, because it creates confusion.”

The Tokyo Games were initially slated for 2020 but were postponed for a year last March shortly before the torch relay was due to start. Ricci Bitti said not to read too much into March 2021 being a key month for a decision this year.

“For now there’s no need to decide anything,” he said. “And we hope that a decision won’t be needed. Because everything is ready. … We’re going sport by sport to set up new anti-COVID measures.”

So are all 33 sports federations — from archery to wrestling — moving forward with their planning? “All of them,” said Ricci Bitti after the federations’ latest meeting. “It’s unanimous. They want the games.”

Half of the 33 federations are “really struggling” financially because of the Tokyo Games postponement, Ricci Bitti said. “Some of the big ones because they had to cancel big events, the smaller ones because they’re very dependent on contributions from the Olympics.”

The IOC also relies on the Summer Games as the driver for billions of dollars’ worth of broadcasting and sponsoring deals, though most is tied to long-term contracts with supportive partners. The IOC had an insurance policy against cancellation in 2020 but did not take the option.

So it’s all systems go for now, though Japan admits its health care system is under stress due to COVID-19, and a vaccine rollout is not expected until next month, while later in the year for much of the general public.

So what happens if the situation in Japan worsens? “For now that’s a hypotheses that doesn’t exist,” Ricci Bitti said. “If the situation gets much worse, the IOC will have to make a decision with the World Health Organization and the government. It will be very coordinated. But the situation is not getting worse right now. I hope it doesn’t get any worse than it is right now.”

Source: AP, Scuttlebutt

Tokyo Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021

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