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IOC ready to continue peace process on Korean peninsula

Date : 29 Nov 2018

Tokyo, Japan, November 29, 2018: IOC President Thomas Bach gave his keynote address on the second morning of the 23rd ANOC General Assembly in Tokyo on Thursday.

President Bach spoke of his pride in the power of sport to bring peace to the Korean peninsula, as the two National Olympic Committees of DPR Korea and the Republic of Korea marched together in the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics last February and formed a joint team in women’s ice hockey.

The IOC President added that the leaders of the two sides had asked the IOC to continue to contribute to peace on the Korean peninsula through sport and said that next year there would be more talks between the NOCs and governments to discuss further initiatives.

In other topics, President Bach spoke of the stable situation of the IOC regarding the Summer Olympics, with host cities signed up for 2024 and 2028, and with two strong candidates for the Winter Olympics in 2026 after Beijing 2022. This stability also involved the IOC sponsors, whose long-term commitment proved their confidence in the partnership and their trust in the good governance of the Olympic movement, he said.

He also called on the NOCs to promote the empowerment of athletes within the movement through the election of athletes’ commissions.

In an extensive Q&A session with the NOCs, President Bach asked Syria NOC to contact Olympic Solidarity regarding the reconstruction of sports facilities, as the IOC had a project in place for this work caused by natural disaster, war or terrorism. He said the latest example was in Indonesia. “We are ready to look into this, but we must make it clear the political circumstances must be in place,” he said.

*Tokyo 2020 CEO and Director General Toshiro Muto gave an update on preparations and announced that the fifth open days for NOCs was fixed for March 18-20, 2019, and the Chefs de Mission Seminar for August 20-22.

He said the new national stadium would be completed by November 2019 and the aquatics centre by February 2020, while the Olympic Village – comprised of 21 buildings in four blocks with 3,800 apartments and 18,000 beds – would be finished by the end of next year. The village will open on July 14, 2020 – 10 days before the opening ceremony. There will also be two satellite villages, in hotels, for sailing and cycling.

Mr Muto said the Tokyo Olympics would be focused on youth and urban culture, with new sports such as sport climbing, 3x3 basketball, surfing and skateboarding contributing to this fresh dynamic. The legacy will be a soft legacy, he added, of social change and social transformation to create a more inclusive society.

Following the exceptionally hot weather and typhoons this summer, the organising committee has established an adverse weather resolution group to react to heat, heavy rain and typhoon scenarios that may affect the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2020.

There will be 33 sports, 48 disciplines and 339 events at Tokyo 2020, with a female athlete participation level of 48.5 per cent.

*Beijing 2022 gave an update on the progress of preparations for the next Winter Olympics, reporting that 15 test events had been planned and eight official partners were already on board. The first NOC Open Days will be from November 19-22, 2019.

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