As the opening ceremony for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games makes its grand entrance on Friday, the IOC is observing the festivities with hopes that it will be able to welcome back spectators for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, set for Beijing.
With the commission desperately trying to navigate around the spread of the contagious Delta variant during the Tokyo Games, the IOC appears to already be focused on having a big year in Beijing as a potential rebound from this year’s event.
According to the Reuters report, a member from the IOC spoke out on the commission’s anticipation of the Beijing Games, while carrying some secondhand pessimism regarding the 2021 Games.
“We would like to have the international community there,” commented Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs, a member from the international committee. “We need very successful Games next year in Beijing. We really need that success for the sake of everybody … for keeping that light of hope really bright and open.”
Dealing with controversial headlines surrounding its athletes and event coordinators, the IOC’s handling of the 2021 Games will come to light once the TV ratings are announced. Which are forecasted to be ugly.
“We need and we want to have spectators,” said the IOC member. “We want to have the opportunity for everybody to enjoy the hospitality and enjoy the great Chinese offers.”
In the same week that Usain Bolt spoke on the Olympic Games’ ban on fans, the overarching sentiment from athletes — both in Tokyo and American pro sports — has favored having spectators present to wildly cheer on their nation’s best competitors.
“I can’t compete without fans,” said Bolt. “It would be so weird and out of the ordinary. I know for people who are like me and really live for fans, it’s going to be tough for them. So, hopefully they can remember that it’s been two years of training and dedicating their lives to this moment.”