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Tokyo Olympic Games to be ‘simplified’

Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee CEO Toshiro Muto (Credit: Getty Images)

Tokyo Olympic Games organisers have agreed with the IOC to host a “simplified” games, cutting the financial burden caused by the postponement while prioritising safeguards against Covid-19.

Following an online meeting of the IOC executive board, Tokyo Olympic organising committee president Yoshiro Mori and CEO Toshiro Muto said 200 items had been identified for “streamlining”. No specific details of the items were released, except that the Olympic torch relay is among them.

“The Games will not be a grand splendour but will be a simplified Games,” Muto said.

The OC is reported to be also looking at reducing the number of people involved in the Games, other than athletes and spectators, with IOC officials and representatives from national sporting bodies likely to be among those cut.

Asked after the meeting whether the number of sports or athletes in the games were candidates for reduction, IOC president Thomas Bach said, “It would be wrong to reduce the number of athletes…We can simplify and reduce the cost of the games. That is our full concentration.”

Muto said countermeasures to ensure safety against Covid-19 were “the biggest challenge” for the Games. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike recently questioned whether the Games can go ahead next year without international agreement on travel and quarantine during the pandemic.

Asked about the possibility of the games being called off entirely due to the pandemic, Mori said the local organisers and IOC had “never discussed cancellation”.

The OC will now review each item of the Games to be streamlined and the measures to combat Covid-19. The IOC’s Coordination Commission is expected to make final proposals for changes to the Games at the IOC executive board meeting in September.