THE Tokyo Olympics will remain the “Last Man Standing” on the sporting world stage.
While virtually all the major competitions worldwide have been scrapped, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), headed by Thomas Bach, still refuses to postpone, if not scrap, this year’s Olympiad.
Here are some views from critics and from the IOC as well:
“I think the IOC insisting the Olympics will move ahead...is insensitive and irresponsible given the state of humanity,” Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic hockey gold medalist, said.
“We share the view that we must be realistic, but not panic,” said IOC Executive board official Robin Mitchell.
Katerina Stefanidi, the 2016 Olympic pole vault champion, said: “The IOC wants us to keep risking our health, our family’s health and public health to train every day. They are putting us in danger right now, today, not in four months.”
IOC’s reply: “We are counting on the responsibility and solidarity of the athletes.”
“We are living through an unpredictable crisis and as such, it is important that we have one policy, expressed by the IOC, and we follow that policy in unison,” the Italy-based European Olympic Committees said.
“We will keep acting in a responsible way in the interests of the athletes,” said Bach. “The Olympics is still four months away.”
British rowing great Matthew Pinsent said Bach, his former IOC colleague, is “tone deaf.”
“The instinct to keep safe (not to mention obey government instructions to lock down) is not compatible with athletes’ training, travel and focus that a looming Olympics demands of athletes, spectators and organizers,” Pinsent wrote on Twitter. “Keep them safe. Call it off.”
“We recognize people are suffering—people are sick, people are losing jobs, businesses are struggling amid enormous community uncertainty,” said Australian Olympic Committee chief executive Matt Carroll. “Things are changing every day and we all must adapt.”
Can athletes adapt with death staring them in the face?
If Bach is “tone deaf,” then he won’t balk.