The Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee (BOIC) welcomes the decision of the IOC and the Japanese government to postpone the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games after 2020 but no later than summer 2021. In the context of the Covid-19 outbreak, this was certainly the wisest decision to take in compliance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization experts.
For the BOIC, it was above all important that:
- athletes and all participants - coaches, entourage, journalists, guests - could be assured to go to the Games with zero risk exposure for their health,
- athletes from all over the world could train under acceptable conditions.
The BOIC is convinced that the Tokyo 2020 Games, now to take place in 2021, will be really successful. Moreover, after such a crisis, it will be again the opportunity for the entire world to come together around an event that conveys fundamental and universal values.
Pierre-Olivier Beckers, President: "Athletes can count on the full support of the BOIC and all Belgian high performance partners, Adeps, Sport Vlaanderen, Ostbelgien. We will back them up at 100% to make their dream come true and ensure that they get prepared for the Tokyo Games in optimal conditions despite this troubled environment."
"Our thoughts also go out to Japan and the Japanese who had so much hope in these Olympics after experiencing so many disasters and a difficult economic situation in recent years. We hope that postponing the Olympic and Paralympic Games at a new date will be a glimmer of hope and optimism for them to hold onto."
Olav Spahl, Tokyo 2020 Mission Leader for Team Belgium: "The decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics is fully justified. It was also important to take this decision at this stage and not to wait any longer. Our athletes who have been living in uncertainty for some time now can look forward again, make plans and focus on their sport."
"It is also the most responsible decision for all federations concerned and their technical directors, and for the athletes' entourage. A survey launched by the BOIC among the athletes and the federations has shown that the postponement of the Games was preferred at 75%. With this decision, the IOC has given priority to athletes’ interests and everyone's health and the BOIC can but welcome this."