TOKYO – International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said on Thursday that the delayed Tokyo Olympic Games can be held even without a coronavirus vaccine.

Bach made these remarks from the IOC headquarters in Lausanne when addressing a videoconference attended by Tokyo 2020 organizers, the Japanese government, the Tokyo metropolitan authorities and the IOC Coordination Commission.

“We could see sport is coming back slowly but surely,” Bach said. “A number of big sports events have been successfully organized recently, including matches of Japanese leagues at the weekend and also some complex events like Tour de France.”

He said that those events have shown that “we can organize safe sports events even without a vaccine.”

Bach is also optimistic that vaccines could be available in the first half of 2021 after consulting medical experts from the World Health Organization.

“We have very encouraging news about the development of vaccines,” he said, adding that experts they talked to have “unanimously” agreed that vaccines will be available at the beginning of next year and in “considerable” doses.

Bach reiterated that the sports world needs to “work diligently and comprehensively” to take the right decisions because nobody can predict what will happen in the next 10 months.

“This work will continue until the opening of the Olympics,” he said. “This crisis requires a lot of flexibilities and sacrifice from all of us.

“I am sure we will make it, we will make these Olympic Games a success.”

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