Botswana: IOC Inspires Athletes to Press On

Gaborone — Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, Internation al Olympics Committee (IOC) has encouraged athletes to continue with their preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games 'as best they can'.

The IOC has promised to keep supporting the athletes by consulting with them and their respective National Olympic Committee's as well as by providing them with the latest information and developments.

However, IOC message did not sit well with some countries.

Canada and Australia were the first to declare that they would not take their athletes to the Olympics.

Sunday Standard sport journalist, Botlhale Keothopile said in an interview that the Olympics were, more than anything, a showcase of the human spirit to overcome adversity.

He said with the world grappling with the worst pandemic in more than a century, should the Olympics go ahead, it would be a perfect show of triumphant human spirit over coronavirus.

"It will be a celebration of humanity. I believe it is premature for Canada and Australia to say they will not attend the Olympics," he said.

According to Keothopile, Botswana, therefore, did wellin supporting IOC, but urged the IOC to postpone the games to a later date and extend qualification deadlines.

According to CNN, Canada and Australia Olympic committees also 'are calling for the Games to be postponed until 2021'.

The joint statement by both the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee state that while they recognised the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing was more important than the health and safety of the athletes and the world community.

Botswana National Olympic Committee recently supported the IOC that Games should go on as planned and their CEO, Tuelo Serufho indicated that they were of the view that Japan was committed to hosting a perfect event and that the African National Olympic Committees had confidence in them doing so.

Serufho said as African National Committees they were confident that both they and the IOC would safeguard the health of athletes.

However, CNN, on the other hand, states that the Australian Olympic Committee's executive board met by teleconference and unanimously agreed that an Australian Olympic team could not be assembled, given the changing circumstances across the world, the committee revealed in a statement.

Source : BOPA

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