Tokyo 2020 is more committed than ever to successfully engaging all athletes at the 2020 Games after the organising committee received extremely valuable advice from experts of the Olympic Movement.
"Athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Movement," claimed Claudia Bokel, Chair of IOC Athletes' Commission, in her opening remarks at an Athletes' Commission Workshop held today in Tokyo.
The athletes' experience is the key to the success of the Games. It takes perfect stages and conditions to enable all athletes to perform to the absolute peak of their abilities and strive to achieve a personal best. That's why Tokyo 2020 has always pledged to organise 'Athletes-first' Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Athletes' Commission is an essential component of the organising committee, helping organisers to understand and identify the exact needs of the athletes and to plan everything accordingly, from the moment they land in the Host City to the moment they leave with unforgettable memories.
"It is very important to have the Athletes' Commission being involved in all the services that will be proposed to athletes, and looking into the details," said Jonathan Edwards, recalling his own experience as chairman of the London 2012 Athletes' Commission. "We went as far as testing the food and mattresses of the Village!"
Tokyo 2020 created its own Athletes' Commission in September 2014, only a few short months after the Organising Committee was established. Composed of 20 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and chaired by Naoko Takahashi, gold medallist in the women's marathon at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the commission ensures the voice of the athletes is heard and taken into account at the decision-making level.
"It's very clear that you have an active and engaged Athletes' Commission here at Tokyo 2020," added Edwards. "It's very important that you harness this, that you utilise this to establish a great Games for Tokyo 2020, as well as a great legacy".
"Athletes are the real Games experts," concluded James MacLeod, an IOC advisor. Tokyo 2020 is committed to incorporating the athletes' recommendations to ensure the focus on athletes is maintained throughout its planning of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.