With sport severely impacted by the pandemic, Bach wrote an open letter to the Olympic Movement to initiate a debate on the challenges and opportunities the situation presents.
The global spread of the virus has meant that the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Paralympics have had to be postponed to 2021, a historic decision that was taken in order to safeguard the health of the athletes and the hundreds of thousands of people involved in the Games.
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.
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.
“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 joint Task Force with the symbolic name ” here we go” that is working on making “these postponed Olympic Games feasible and successful.”
At this moment, nobody knows what the realities of the post-coronavirus world will look like,” he said. “What is clear, however, is that probably none of us will be able to sustain every single initiative or event that we were planning before this crisis hit.” He added that the IOC should also view the crisis as an opportunity.
Thomas Bach also said the Olympic movement should consider its relationship with e-sports in light of social distancing.
The IOC President finished the letter by proposing 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,” he said.
“The post-coronavirus world will need sport, and we are ready to contribute to shaping it with our Olympic values.” he said.