LAUSANNE, Switzerland – International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, SportAccord and GAISF President Dr. Raffaele Chiulli, and World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised sport’s resilience and influence at today’s fully virtual International Federation (IF) Forum 2020, with IFs assured that preparations are being put in place to deliver safe Olympic Games next year.
SportAccord and GAISF President Dr. Raffaele Chiulli, referring to the theme of the IF Forum 2020 – ‘How Sport and Society Can Emerge Stronger from a Global Crisis’ – commended sport’s collective response to the pandemic.
“By working together and tapping into the experiences and knowledge of our colleagues across the world today, we have a huge learning resource at our disposal,” Dr. Chiulli said.
“This year has provided many challenges, but I think it is also important to recognise that our movement will be able to look back on 2020 with a lot of pride. I have been truly inspired to see the creativity of International Sport Federations in how they have engaged followers and stakeholders through innovative channels and campaigns.”
The International Olympic Committee President told the IF Forum’s delegates that collaborative work with the organising committee and other partners and stakeholders, including IFs, will ensure Tokyo is “the best prepared Olympic city” for the postponed Games.
He added to IF representatives, who were tuning in worldwide: “The health and safety of all concerned has always been and remains our top priority. Because of the fast-changing situation, we may not yet have all of the answers to the operational questions that are at the top of the minds of all IFs, but please rest assured that we are developing a toolbox of Covid countermeasures for every possible scenario.”
“In this context, the encouraging developments in so-called rapid testing and vaccines give us all good reason for cautious optimism. These developments will greatly facilitate the safe organization and give us additional countermeasure tools. In this way, we are prepared for safe Olympic Games, whatever conditions the world will be facing next summer.”
Dr. Tedros, who has been at the forefront of the international response to the pandemic, pledged WHO’s support to IFs, sports, event organising committees, sportspeople and fans.
“Working with representatives here today, we have issued guidance on running safe events. It calls for a risk-based approach to decide if and how an event should proceed,” Dr. Tedros said.
“It is up to each of us to reinforce the essential role of sport as an enabler for better health, and WHO continues to strengthen our collaborations with sports entities, Federations and athletes. We are working to ensure that sports can be practiced safely, both at amateur and professional levels.”
The invitation-only IF Forum 2020 has brought together more than 200 leaders from over 125 IFs, with experts providing insights into areas such as crisis management, scenario planning, risk mitigation and staying connected with athletes, fans and stakeholders in times of crisis.
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The International Federation (IF) Forum
The IF Forum takes place annually and targets the specific needs of Olympic and International Sport Federations with a focus on sharing best practices and knowledge. The event is open to International Sports Federation members from ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations), AIOWF (Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations), ARISF (Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations), AIMS (Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport) and GAISF (Global Association of International Sports Federations) and its Associate Members.
In addition, the IF Forum receives the full support of the International Olympic Committee.