Beijing: With just around 55 days to go Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and despite the threat of worsening of the global Covid-19 pandemic due to the new strain of the Novel Coronavirus, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not foresee a situation in which it would be forced to postpone the upcoming Winter Olympic Games like it had to do in case of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The Beijing Winter Olympic Games are scheduled from February 4-20,2022.
The IOC had to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games, which were originally scheduled to be held in July 2020, by a year and the Games were eventually held in July-August 2021.
Christophe Dubi, the Olympic Games Executive Director, said he does not foresee such a situation because the Closed Loop system that the Chinese authorities have put in place for the Beijing Winter Games is very strong and capable of tackling any eventuality.
No (I don’t seen any such threat) Even though we have learned that in the case of Covid, we have to be flexible and be ready for every eventuality.
The Closed-loop system can control and tackle all situations, we are not saying that Covid will not move ahead but we have planned and worked out all scenarios. We have a very strong team in place there and the Closed Loop System is capable of handling all situations, said Dubi.
Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, said, For the Games to be successful, they have to be safe. The Closed Loop System that they are adapting at Beijing makes it very safe, he said.
Both Dubi and Samaranch Jr along with the IOC director of communication Mark Adams fielded questions on various issues on the opening day of the three-day IOC Executive Board meeting here on Tuesday.
Samaranch Jr expressed IOC’s disappointment over the decison by the United States of America (USA)of a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Games,terming it a political decision but said at least the sportspersons are free to participate in the Games.
All three assured that the Games will be safe for everyone as they will be held as per the Olympic Charter.
China has condemned a planned US diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and threatened to retaliate. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China would take resolute counter-measures but did not give further details. On Monday, the US said it would not send diplomats to Beijing over concerns about China’s human rights record. It added that US athletes could go and would have full government support.
At a media briefing on Tuesday, Zhao accused the US of violating political neutrality in sport and said the proposed boycott was based on lies and rumours.
Tensions are high between both countries. The US has accused China of genocide in its repression of the predominantly Muslim Uyghur minority in the western region of Xinjiang – an allegation China has strongly denied.
Relations are also strained over China’s suppression of political freedoms in Hong Kong, and because of concerns for the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who was not seen for weeks after she accused a top government official of assault. The Women’s Tennis Association last week suspended all tournaments in China because of serious doubts about Peng’s safety.