September 04, (THEWILL) – At the eve of the conclusion of the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has hailed the “phenomenal” work put in by Local Organizing Committee (LOC) to stage the “historic” Olympic and Paralympic Games in the midst of a global health crisis and opposition from home and abroad.
Following the schedule of events, Tokyo will host its final day of competition on Sunday before the Paralympic Flame will be extinguished at the Closing Ceremony to bring the Games to an end and mark the end of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee of the Olympics and Paralympics.
The Games were postponed at a heavy cost by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. THEWILL reported on the many forces that were militating against a successful hosting of the Games as doubts clouded the possibility of the competition even taking place. Japan itself and Tokyo witnessed a spike just before the Games were due to begin.
Yet, the Tokyo 2020 organizers never wavered in their commitment to hosting a secure and safe Games. With the curtain set to be drawn on all the competitions of the summer, they have managed to put on two of the world’s biggest sporting events over the past two months with remarkable success.
To their credit, over 11,500 athletes attended the Olympics, which ran from July 23 to August 5, before a further 4,400 competed at the Paralympics that opened on August 24 with the assurance that they could compete in a safe environment.
The organizers made sure of that as they enforced regulations and protocols throughout the period, ensuring that athletes and other overseas attendees adhered to a series of COVID-19 countermeasures set out in playbooks that they produced ahead of the competition for the sake of safety.
As a result, new figures released by organizers confirmed that no one had tested positive inside the Paralympic Village for a fourth day in a row, which is a testament to the success of their playbook.
Craig Spence, the spokesperson for the IPC, had nothing but praise for the efforts of organizers to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, while hosting a successful Games. He said:
“We have delivered Games safely. That is a bold statement, but we have delivered it safely. Yesterday when you combine the airport tests and Games-time tests over one million tests have been conducted during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and we have had 350 positives around that number.
“If we had said that six months ago, that we would stage these Games and only have 350 positives you would not have expected that. That is a credit of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), the IPC, Tokyo2020 and the international health experts who have helped design the playbooks to deliver an historic Games during a pandemic.
“It has ever been done before and I hope we never have to do it again as it has taken its toll on everyone. The work of this Organizing Committee has been absolutely top class. You have got to imagine that they were seeing the finish line in sight after seven years of work and then the bell rang to tell them you need to do another lap.
“The amount of work that has gone in behind the scenes to deliver what you have seen over the past three weeks has been phenomenal.”