Testing of facemasks and mattresses. The Czech Olympic Team is working flat out to prepare for Tokyo

The International Olympic Committee and the Government of Japan have both provided assurances that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will go ahead in the summer of this year. “We are fully concentrated on and committed to the successful and safe delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, starting on 23 July with the Olympic Games and 24 August with the Paralympic Games,” Thomas Bach, the IOC President, said after the Executive Board meeting.

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The Czech Olympic Committee is also working hard on its preparations. “On the 9th of February a briefing is scheduled on the theme of basic scenarios for organisation of the Games, which we are all keenly anticipating,” said Jiří Kejval, President of the Czech NOC. “I want to assure athletes and fans that cancellation of the Games is not on the agenda. The holding of the Games is supported by the largest countries in the world, and the significance of them taking place, and the benefit for society has also been acknowledged by the United Nations.”

The Czech Team has currently secured 42 places, with the most recent being swimmer Kristýna Horská. Further qualification competitions will take place in the coming months. “Of course, there are currently many things that are uncertain, but we firmly believe that the Games will take place. Therefore, we are now, for example, testing nano face masks, which we want to take with us. We have also taken delivery of mattresses for the athletes, so they can try them out before the Games,” said Martin Doktor, Sport Director of the Czech Olympic Committee.

Trip to Tokyo

He and his team plan to make an inspection trip to Tokyo in early April. “For two weeks prior to travelling we will have to keep check of our health, use an application that monitors our movements, and undergo tests.” Similar conditions will probably also apply during the Games. “The latest information indicates that participants will need a PCR test within the 72 hours leading up to their departure, after arrival and then regularly at the venue. They will also be tested twelve hours before a competition, and if positive a further test three hours before the competition. These details will certainly be adjusted as the Games approach.”

They are also working on the training camps. “For example, for those in the Kōchi Prefecture we have very detailed information from our Japanese colleagues about how things will be arranged in the summer – including the distribution of rooms at the hotel, catering and transport. For me this is evidence that the Japanese are doing all they can to ensure the Games go ahead,” added Doktor.

It is already clear that the participants' stay in the Olympic Village will be shortened. “Due to restrictions regarding contact with the public, athletes will not, for example, be able to watch other sports in person. They will have to make more sacrifices than usual with respect to protection against infection, and isolation. Our measure will affect us in virtually every area of preparations – from transport to equipment. However, this is something we must all deal with,” stated Doktor.