IOC, Tokyo 2020 say so far, so good as Summer Games reaches the halfway point

Tokyo 2020 director general Toshiro Muto admits not all is perfect, with violations of the playbooks still a problem.



Toshiro Muto, Tokyo 2020 director general (IOC Media)
Toshiro Muto, Tokyo 2020 director general (IOC Media)

IOC Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi views the glass as much more than half full as Tokyo 2020 passes the halfway mark.

Dubi and Tokyo 2020 director general Toshiro Muto updated reporters during the IOC/Tokyo 2020 daily media briefing on Sunday.

While Muto painted a mostly positive picture in his report on how the organizing committee was handling operations such as covid-19 protocols, competition management, and transportation, he was not as enthusiastic as Dubi.

“Has sport ever looked so good?” Dubi wondered, adding “the bar has been set extremely high, Toshiro, with you and your team. You’ve done just a marvelous job when it comes to the venues. When you describe how smooth it is… smooth in the Games is quite an achievement.”

Not everything has been smooth. Muto pointed out that there have been some violations to the rules in the playbooks designed to keep the Games safe and secure. While there have been plenty of complaints that stakeholders are failing to keep their masks on where required, a few cases involved more serious breaches.

For the first time, specific numbers were revealed. Muto said that as of yesterday, there have been 10 cases of “strict warning issuance”, four cases of collecting a signed pledge to obey the rules on top of the strict warning, eight cases of temporary suspension of accreditation and six cases of removal of accreditation.

Among those stripped of their accreditation were two Republic of Georgia judoka who went outside the Olympic Village to go sightseeing, a serious violation of the playbook.

Muto also said that an investigation is underway after “multiple” athletes were caught drinking at the park in the Olympic Village on the night of July 30. Alcoholic beverages are allowed in the Village but must not be consumed in public or common areas.

Tokyo 2020′s goal “to manage the Games with as little burden on local medical care as possible” has been achieved to this point, according to Muto.

There is only one person who is currently hospitalized among Games personnel who have traveled to Japan and no people with serious symptoms.

As for challenges ahead in the second week of the Games, Muto cited three.

“Managing the activities of the athletes who have completed their competition will be one of the challenges we will have in the second half.

“Also heat illnesses. Handling them well and properly - this is something we need to be vigilant about.

“As well as Covid. We need to be vigilant until the end of the Games.”