11 Feb 2021

Delivering a safe and successful Olympic Games; never since the first edition of the modern era in 1896 in Greece has a situation existed when the multi-sport spectacular has been required to defy the odds and proceed in a time when the health, the well-being of mankind, has been so high on the agenda.

By Ian Marshall

Thus, with the current pandemic and its effects very much in the mind; organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in liaison with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee (Tokyo 2020), a series of directives are being published, entitled “The Playbook International Federations – Your guide to a safe and successful Games”.

The first publication, focused on technical officials, was released on Friday 5th February, followed by an edition on Monday 8th February targeting broadcasters.

More recently on Tuesday 9th February, via National Olympic Committees, the focus was placed on athletes and team officials; the message of co-operation and unity being stressed by Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission and Member of the Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 and Robin Mitchell, Acting President of the Association of National Olympic Committees and Member of the Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXXII.

A most worthy memorandum; one applauded by Raul Calin, ITTF Secretary-General.

“Stronger Together; Ms Kirsty Coventry and Mr Robin Mitchell highlight the importance of working together, making a call for everyone to commit to following the Playbook. For many of us, who have been blessed to attend the Games before, certainly this experience may be different in a number of ways, but we do believe that proportionate efforts are put in place, after a careful analysis, to ensure the viability of the events. From the ITTF, we will try to be, as always, a trusted partner for the IOC, the IPC and the Organizing Committee of the Games.” Raul Calin

Before and during both the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, the Playbook stresses four major areas.

Minimize physical interaction
• Keep physical contact to a minimum.
• Avoid physical contact such as hugs and shaking hands.
• Maintain two metre distance.
• Avoid crowds.
• Only use Games transport.
• Follow detailed protocols.

Test, Trace and Isolate
• Download smartphone applications.
• Obtain proof of negative test before travelling.
• Follow additional restrictions that apply on the initial 14 days.
• Be prepared for testing during the Games.
• Isolate immediately in showing symptoms.

• Wash hands thoroughly on a regular basis.
• Use sanitizers.
• Cough into mask or tissue.
• Clap do not sing or chant.
• Do not share items.
• Disinfect items.
• Ventilate rooms.

• Complete necessary registration 14 days before departing.
• Prepare itinerary, especially for first 14 days in Japan.
• Take Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure.
• Only travel if Covid-19 test negative.
• Make sure you have access to face masks.
• Move quickly through airports.
• Prepare for Covid-19 test on arrival.
• Know the requirements of the country to which you will return.

Follow the guidelines, adhere to the recommendations and when we look back, we will remember Tokyo 2020 for the very best of reasons, not because it was delayed for one year but for sporting excellence.

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