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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 May 19 - 25  > IOC’s stance clinging to holding Tokyo Games damages ideal of Olympic movement
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2021 May 19 - 25 [POLITICS]

IOC’s stance clinging to holding Tokyo Games damages ideal of Olympic movement

May 25, 2021

Akahata 'current' column

The late Barron de Coubertin, who is known as the father of the modern Olympic Games, expressed his concern regarding negative impacts which the Games may cause. He stated that whether the Olympiad event can be acknowledged as beneficial or harmful depends on the course of action taken by organizers.

As a founding member, Coubertin believed that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should be free from politics and interference by each nation and that IOC members should be “moral elites” only serving for high ideals and humanity.

The rescheduled Tokyo Games, the 32nd Olympiad event since the first one held 125 years ago in Athene, Greece, is approaching. However, the global pandemic of COVID-19 shows no signs of ending. The host nation of Japan is under a state of emergency with its healthcare institutions overwhelmed by COVID-19. Athletes’ training environment differs from country to country. Under this situation, the appropriateness of holding the Games is called into question.

The current IOC leadership is pushing forward with the Tokyo Games. IOC Vice President John Coats recently said that the Games will be held even if Tokyo is under a state of emergency. IOC President Thomas Bach, as if to support this remark, said that the final countdown has begun and that everyone has to make sacrifices in order to make Olympic dreams come true. Japan’s Suga administration has repeatedly boasted that the Olympics will be held in a “secure and safe” manner.

It is reported that Coubertin always stressed that mutual respect is vital for international relations. If the Summer Games are opened in defiance of opposition from a majority of Japanese citizens as well as of a global call to not bulldoze through with the Games, they will only deepen mutual distrust and disunity over the Olympic movement.

The Olympic Charter states, “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” The IOC’s current stance not only runs counter to the Olympism’s goal but also damages the Olympic ideal.

Past related article:
> Majority of Japanese call for postponement or cancellation of Tokyo Olympic Games [May 18, 2021]

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