Former NZ Chef de Mission on why Tokyo Olympics can still go ahead

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 May 2021, 9:41PM

Former NZ Chef de Mission on why Tokyo Olympics can still go ahead

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 May 2021, 9:41PM

An Olympic veteran is confident that the Tokyo Olympics can still go ahead. 

The Tokyo Olympic torch relay is being pulled off the streets in Hiroshima prefecture as COVID-19 cases rise in Japan barely 10 weeks before the opening ceremony.

Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki said that a ceremony next week without the relay is likely to still take place. This is at least the sixth change to the relay — from rerouting to cancellation — in the last several weeks.

Organizers warned before the relay began that changes and delays were expected in the face of the pandemic.

"It is certain there will be no relay on public streets since we are all trying to reduce going out, and how to do the ceremony without the relay on the streets is still being discussed with the organizers," Yuzaki said Monday.

Japan has attributed about 11,000 deaths to COVID-19, but new cases of the virus and its variants are now increasing in Tokyo and the second largest metropolitan area of Osaka.

Dr Dave Gerrard, who represented New Zealand at the Olympics in swimming, went on to become Chef de Mission at the 1996 Summer Olympics and as a Senior Medical Commissioner. 

He joined D'Arcy Waldegrave to discuss why he thinks the Games can still be held safely - and why vaccines are the key to the event going ahead.

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