Olympic athletes banned from bringing family to Tokyo

Jessica Downey
·2-min read
Photo credit: SOPA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: SOPA Images - Getty Images

From Runner's World

With the excitement of the 2020 Olympic Games going forward, albeit a year late, exceptions have been enforced in order for the games to go ahead. Sadly for the athletes competing, COVID-19 measures will mean that attendance is only assigned to guests deemed essential.

The unfortunate news for athletes' families arrived on Friday the 20th March. The announcement came from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who confirmed on the Olympic Games website that only guests with 'essential and operational roles' will be permitted on site.

In addition to the guest ban, this year’s summer Olympics has seen 630,000 tickets refunded to overseas residents.

The new rule comes as a disappointment to many supporters. According to Inside the Games it is believed that this enforcement will prevent over 1000 individuals from securing a spot. It is undoubtedly unfortunate news for competing athletes but has been imposed by the IOC executive board to ensure that the Games will go ahead despite the pandemic.

A five-party meeting was held between the IOC and Tokyo 2020. It brought about the decision to largely reduce the size of the games in Tokyo this year in alignment with clear requirements laid out by the Japanese government.

The ban of international spectators and guests aims to keep participants and the Japanese public safe throughout the games.

The International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said in a statement, “I know that our Japanese partners and friends did not reach this conclusion lightly. Together with them, the IOC’s top priority was, is and remains to organise safe Olympic and Paralympic Games for everyone: all the participants and, of course, our gracious hosts, the Japanese people.”

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics now taking place July 23 to August 8 2021 will permit only participants, essential roles and Japanese residents to spectate.

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