Commenting on this important milestone, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said: “With only one year to go, a mammoth task still lies ahead of us. I would like to thank our Japanese partners and friends, headed by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshiro and Governor Koike Yuriko, and the athletes, all the Summer Olympic International Federations, the NOCs, TOP Sponsors and Rights-Holding Broadcasters. Without their solidarity and support, we could not have taken this historic joint decision to postpone the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. I am deeply impressed and grateful for the extraordinary progress already being made in the preparations since the joint postponement decision.
“With our Japanese partners and friends, we agree that we have to adapt the planning of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to the requirements of the global crisis, while maintaining the unique spirit and message that define our mission. We are working to optimise the operations and services without touching on sports and athletes. In this way we can, together with the Organising Committee, turn these postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 into an unprecedented celebration of the unity and solidarity of humankind, making them a symbol of resilience and hope. Showing that we are stronger together.”
23 July also marks the start of the IOC’s #StrongerTogether campaign. This will recognise the importance of solidarity and unity during these difficult times, acknowledging the power of sport, and in particular the Olympic Games, to bring people together.
The Olympic flame will once again lead the day’s activities and help shine a light on the resilience and strength of the athletes as they continue to prepare for the Games. In addition to the Olympic and Tokyo 2020 channels, Olympic Movement stakeholders will also be activating across their digital and social media platforms over the coming days to show their support for all the athletes and Tokyo 2020. Rights-Holding Broadcasters, for example, will mark the date with original programming and interviews, covering the challenges athletes have faced during the pandemic and joining the #StrongerTogether campaign through dedicated news coverage of the Tokyo event for their audiences, both on linear TV and digital platforms.
A key component of today’s activities took place in Tokyo. There, the local organisers held a live media event at the Olympic Stadium, where they premiered a video showcasing support for all the athletes around the world. This featured the Olympic flame and inspirational Japanese athlete Rikako Ikee, with coverage of the event broadcast on the Olympic Channel.
The @Olympic Instagram account will also feature live chats with a number of top athletes throughout the day. These include Japanese gymnasts Murakami Mai at 6 p.m. and Uchimura Kohei at 7 p.m. (both JST [GMT+9]) as well as USA’s Simone Biles (gymnastics) at 2 p.m. and Nathan Adrian (swimming) at 3 p.m. (both EDT [GMT-4]).
The @Olympics Twitter account will be teaming up with past and future Olympic Games host cities and Olympic Movement stakeholders to re-create the historical journey of the Olympic flame between 8 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. CEST [GMT+2]. The flame will serve as a symbol of solidarity, hope and diversity within the Olympic Movement and around the world, conveying the global sentiment of being #StrongerTogether.
In addition, Twitter users will be rewarded with a surprise Olympic flame moment when they tag @Olympics and use #StrongerTogether in any tweet. They will receive an automated response featuring a video of an Olympic flame-lighting ceremony moment from past Games.
The Olympic Channel is also preparing to relive some of the most inspiring, exciting and unforgettable Olympic moments during the 16-day period in which the Tokyo 2020 Games were meant to take place. Athletes including Nadia Comaneci, Leander Paes and Ryan Millar will also share the stories behind their great Olympic memories. See more details and the full schedule of re-runs here.
Following today’s activities, the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Airbnb will continue to bring the world and athletes together through the Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences festival, which starts tomorrow. This will feature a programme of unique activities hosted by athletes such as Naomi Osaka, Yusra Mardini, Rui Hachimura, Allyson Felix, Lex Gillette and others.
Toyota, meanwhile, in partnership with the Olympic Channel, has revealed a new series entitled What Moves Me. Now live on the Olympic Channel, it features inspirational lessons from world-class athletes about how they overcame common, personal barriers and started their own journey towards Olympic glory.