Lausanne (Switzerland): International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach admitted that the cost of postponement of the Tokyo Olympics will run into “several hundred million US dollars.”
The 2020 Olympics was postponed to 2021 due to the ongoing global crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While it was earlier scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the new dates are July 23 to August 8, 2021.
“For our part, we have made it clear that the IOC will continue to be responsible for its share of the operational burden and its share of the costs for these postponed Games, under the terms of the existing agreement for 2020 that we have with our Japanese partners and friends,” said Bach in a letter to the Olympic Movement that was published on the IOC’s website on Wednesday.
“Although it is too early to give an exact figure, we already know that we have to shoulder several hundred million US dollars of postponement costs. This is why we also need to look into and review all the services that we provide for these postponed Games,” he said.
Bach said that the IOC’s budget is now being reviewed and that some of the activities planned for the Games may have to be given a closer look.
“We will all need to take a close look at the scope of some of our activities and make the necessary adjustments to the new realities. In this context, the IOC administration is reviewing the IOC’s budget and priorities. This review will shortly be presented to the IOC Executive Board for discussion and approval,” he said.
Bach said that the IOC has extended “all Olympic grants to the NOCs (National Olympic Councils) to cover their preparations for the Games.”
Bach also said that there needs to be more efforts in governing e-sports, which has now gained precedence with a number of athletes turning to online competitions amid the lack of any sporting competition.
“Whilst maintaining our principles by respecting the “red line” with regard to the Olympic values, we encourage all our stakeholders even more urgently to consider how to govern electronic and virtual forms of their sport and explore opportunities with game publishers,” said Bach.
The 66-year-old 1976 Olympic gold medal winner also said that the sustainability of the Olympics needs to be considered in the wake of the crisis.
“…the IOC should further strengthen the sustainability and feasibility reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020 with a new phase of the “New Norm” to make even more savings possible for the Organising Committees of the Olympic Games. These new measures should lead to an even more restricted footprint for all the stakeholders at the Olympic Games,” he said.