The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission has agreed a series of simplification measures with the Tokyo 2020 organising committee to ensure next year’s rescheduled Games can go ahead safely amid COVID-19.

The Coordination Commission has identified four main categories to consider in the organisation of next year’s Games: stakeholders, infrastructure, promotion, and other areas of interest.

Initial measures outlined for the simplification of the event include the reduction of stakeholder personnel attending the Games, streamlining transport services, adjusting spectator activities at venues and hosting some pre-Games meetings online.

The measures have been developed with support from the International Paralympic Committee, Tokyo 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan, with additional input from other key Olympic stakeholder groups including national Olympic and Paralympic committees, international federations, rights-holding broadcasters, media and TOP partners.

Tokyo 2020 will now begin estimating provisional cost-saving measures that can be achieved with a view to providing an update at the IOC Executive Board meeting in October.

A number of COVID-19 countermeasures have been outlined for the Games and grouped into seven areas: travel/country access, physical distancing, personal protective equipment/cleaning, food and beverage, testing/tracking/isolating, information provision and vaccines.

There are currently no plans to cut the number of participating athletes at the Olympics or Paralympics. Specific plans for spectator limits have also not been discussed yet, Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto said.

Coordination Commission chair John Coates said: “Built from the principles outlined by the Joint IOC and Tokyo 2020 Steering Committee, these optimisations and simplifications mark an important step towards delivering a safe and successful Games in 2021. We owe it to the public to enact these measures during these challenging times, that’s why we’ve left no stone unturned and will continue to look for further opportunities over the coming months.

“The unique task of reorganising an Olympic Games has called for the Olympic Movement to be stronger together – this milestone illustrates our collective commitment. The ‘Tokyo Model’ will not only deliver a Games fit for a post-corona world, it will become a blueprint that will benefit future organising committees for many years to come.”

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori added: “Considering the current state of the world, we have been discussing how we will be able to deliver a safe and secure Games that can win public understanding in these challenging times.

“After we established a broader direction that the Games in 2021 should be simplified, we have been working closely together with the IOC, the IPC and various stakeholders such as IFs, NOCs, NPCs, partners and broadcasters, in every possible area that can contribute to simplifications.

“This process will benefit future society – becoming a role model for future global events as people adapt to living in the new normal. We will make all efforts to ensure that in the future the Tokyo 2020 Games will be a legacy. We will continue to work hard on simplifications towards next year and ask for the continued cooperation of all those involved in the Games.”

This year’s Olympics were postponed back in March due to the pandemic, with the Games now scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021. The Paralympics will then follow from August 24 to September 5.

Image: Tokyo 2020