International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach reaffirmed in his New Year's message that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games are the priority for 2021. The 2020 sumemr Olympics were postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19.
Speaking of Tokyo 2021, Bach reiterated his gratitude for the host's commitment and determination to organise the Games "in a safe and secure way for all the participants" that fits the post-coronavirus world.
"We all will live an unforgettable Games," said Bach, according to Xinhua.
As for Winter Games in Beijing in 2022, which will get underway six months after the 2021 summer Games, Bach said: "We have to already start at the beginning of this year to prepare for the upcoming 2022 Olympic winter Games in Beijing. And there, really all are on board. We see the same commitment and determination of our Chinese partners and friends, and all the Olympic venues are already ready for the best winter sports athletes in the world."
Bach also highlighted the role sports played in this pandemic-disrupted year as represented by the organisation's campaigns of "#StayStrong #StayActive #StayHealthy" and "Healthy Together" and called for solidarity in face of future challenges.
"We need more solidarity. We need more solidarity within societies, and we need more solidarity among societies," he said. "By learning from this lesson of solidarity, we will turn the challenges of the future into opportunities again."