IOC rep Mikee Cojuangco: Postponing Olympics to benefit athletes, their health

Migs Bustos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 24 2020 07:31 PM

Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski said there is a silver lining to the rescheduling of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, that it was not totally scrapped.

"It’s a complicated situation for everyone. I’m glad (the) Games were postponed, not cancelled,” said Cojuangco, the Philippine representative to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Cojuangco, who has held her post since 2013, is a member of five coordination commissions for the IOC and is working actively with the Tokyo coordination commission.

“There is a lot of good news because of the desire of Japan to hold good games. Example, for accommodations, talking about 45,000 hotel rooms, the hotels agreed to still make available the rooms next year at the same rate,” she said.

“About the athletes’ village, which is ready, they’re like condo units that will be for sale after the Games. It’s retrofitted temporarily to suit the needs for the athlete. They’ve agreed to keep it this way and maintain it until after the games then sell it after.”

The postponement will also give time for athletes to prepare if and when the situation becomes “normal”.

“I don’t think there was really a choice considering the magnitude of the COVID-19 issue,” said the 2002 Asian Games gold medalist for equestrian.

“As far as athletes are concerned, it’s so difficult because they’re not training under normal circumstances. And who wants to go to the Olympics and have a lackluster performance?

“It was too difficult psychologically and obviously physically . . . health side, makes it a no brainer.”

Even though the Games look to be launched in 2021, officials said the competition will still be called “Tokyo 2020”.

Another sigh of relief for fans and attendees is that tickets they purchased will be honored.

If all goes well, the Games will start on July 23 until August 8, 2021, while the Paralympic Games will be from August 24 until September 5, 2021.

“Tickets for the events that were bought are still valid, but those who want to return their tickets will be reimbursed,” Cojuangco said, adding that more details will be announced.

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