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IOC President Bach eyes coronavirus opportunity to strengthen Olympic Movement

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BEIJING, April 30 (Xinhua) — The ongoing coronavirus crisis could be an opportunity to “strengthen the relevance of our Olympic Movement in the world”, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said in a letter to the Olympic Movement entitled “Olympism and Corona”.

To achieve this aim, the president called on reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020, in particular with regard to sustainability, in order to address the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking of the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games, Bach confirmed that the IOC will pay for its share of the costs for these postponed Games, which could amount to several hundred million US dollars.

“We have made it clear that the IOC will continue to be responsible for its share of the operational burden and its share of the costs for these postponed Games, under the terms of the existing agreement for 2020 that we have with our Japanese partners and friends,” he said.

Bach introduced a Task Force that is working on making “these postponed Olympic Games feasible and successful.”

In the letter, Bach also highlighted sport’s contribution to public health and called on governments to include sport in its economic support program as studies show sport is a big employer.

“For the Olympic Movement as a whole, we may also have to look more closely into the proliferation of sports events, as we already discussed at previous Olympic Summits. The financial pressure on all the stakeholders, including National Olympic Committees, International Federations and Organising Committees, may require more consolidation in this respect,” he added.

To address the social, economic and political impact brought by the coronavirus crisis, Bach proposed “a wide-ranging consultation among all of us under the guidance of the IOC Executive Board and the IOC Session.”

“Let us take this opportunity in a way of unity and creativity to emerge from this crisis even stronger than before. The post-coronavirus world will need sport, and we are ready to contribute to shaping it with our Olympic values,” he appealed. Enditem

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