Comments from those involved in preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Games
Tokyo 2020 President MORI Yoshiro
“I cannot imagine how athletes set to take center stage must have felt about the first-ever postponement of the Games. People from all walks of life—including children across Japan looking forward to fiercely-contested competitions, local residents in the towns and cities hosting competition venues and those participating in host town initiatives—were planning to cheer them on and take part in the Games.
“In this difficult situation, athletes are training with eyes on the future, and those whose work supports society are fighting on the front lines every day. I believe humanity’s solidarity will lead us to the end of this long dark tunnel, to a moment of pure joy when athletes from all over the world gather on the Games’ stage. In that moment, the power of sports is sure to uplift and encourage people around the globe.
“Inspired by the beacon of hope that lit up the Olympic Stadium today, the Organising Committee will put forth every effort toward preparing for next year’s Games, ensuring they remain in memory forever as a symbol of unity and solidarity as together we work to overcome the challenges of COVID-19."
Tokyo Governor KOIKE Yuriko
"There is now only one year to go to the opening of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 on 23 July 2021.
"Response to the novel coronavirus disease is a challenge facing all humankind. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will continue to dedicate its resources to fighting this battle and to delivering a safe Games.
"In addition, while devising ways to curb costs in order to gain the understanding of the people of Tokyo and the rest of Japan, we will ensure that the success of the Games leads to the further development of Tokyo and Japan.
"The Tokyo 2020 Games provide enormous hope for athletes training hard for next summer and for children who hold the future in their hands. The local governments and people of the communities are also engaging in preparations for the Games.
"We will work closely with all parties concerned and advance preparations to hold a successful Games brimming with hope, which will serve as a symbol of humankind bonding even more strongly as the world came together as one to overcome this difficult situation."
Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games HASHIMOTO Seiko
“Overcoming the challenges of the present can lead to a great legacy for the future. This is a belief that I have gained from my own seven Olympic appearances. The world is still battling COVID-19, an infectious disease of unprecedented scale. However, it is precisely at times like these that we seek to overcome the challenges, and we hope to deliver dream, hope, inspiration and courage from Japan to the world through the power of sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"Next year’s Games will act as a symbol that humanity has defeated COVID-19, with athletes from around the world competing in perfect conditions at a safe and secure event for the audience as well. Next year will be the 10-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the “Recovery and Reconstruction Games” will show the world the progress of reconstruction of the areas affected by the disaster. To this end, we will do our utmost to prepare for next year's Games in cooperation with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and all other parties.”
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach
“With only one year to go, a mammoth task still lies ahead of us. I would like to thank our Japanese partners and friends, headed by Prime Minister ABE Shinzo, Tokyo 2020 President MORI Yoshiro and Governor KOIKE Yuriko, and the athletes, all the Summer Olympic International Federations, the NOCs, TOP Sponsors and Rights-Holding Broadcasters. Without their solidarity and support, we could not have taken this historic joint decision to postpone the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. I am deeply impressed and grateful for the extraordinary progress already being made in the preparations since the joint postponement decision.
“With our Japanese partners and friends, we agree that we have to adapt the planning of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to the requirements of the global crisis, while maintaining the unique spirit and message that define our mission. We are working to optimise the operations and services without touching on sports and athletes. In this way we can, together with the Organising Committee, turn these postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 into an unprecedented celebration of the unity and solidarity of humankind, making them a symbol of resilience and hope. Showing that we are stronger together.”
International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons
"The one year to go mark gives everyone involved in the Games, especially the athletes, something to aim and aspire for next year. The Games offer hope for the whole world and the IPC is fully committed with all stakeholders to ensure the safe and successful staging of the Paralympics in 2021.
"It may feel like Groundhog Day celebrating this landmark again, but the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be well worth the wait. They will be a global celebration of human endeavour, resilience and hope and I am fully confident that the performances of Para athletes will entertain the world and have a profound impact on driving social inclusion in Japan and around the world."
Japanese Olympic Committee President YAMASHITA Yasuhiro
“The spread of COVID-19 has made me keenly aware that sport is part of our lives and that it can play an important role in supporting a safe and peaceful society. With sporting events now slowly returning to the stage, we are reminded again of the ability of sport to bring hope and the power of athletes to inspire courage. I believe the values of sport such as respect, friendship, solidarity and mutual understanding will become even more important as a divided society overcomes these difficulties. Next year’s Olympic Games will once again demonstrate the value of sport to society. To this end, we will continue to support the athletes who are preparing for the Games under such difficult circumstances.”
Japanese Paralympic Committee President TORIHARA Mitsunori
“In February 2020, the Japanese Paralympic Committee announced its slogan for the Tokyo 2020 Games: ‘Overcome! We are all in this together.’ Regardless of their background, Para Athletes, those who assist them and their fans all have different concerns and goals. This slogan embodies the hope that a successful Paralympic Games, leveraging the power of all of them, will help make society more inclusive.
“We are facing an unprecedented situation in the wake of COVID-19, but we will not be deterred by adversity; we must find a way forward. With the help of Para athletes and everyone else who has led the way, we can overcome this crisis, turn a disaster into something positive, and host a Games that shows the true value of a one year postponement. We will do everything in our power to prepare an environment where our Para athletes can achieve their best at next year's Games.”