Supporters hold a banner promoting the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. (Getty Images)
John Coates leads an IOC delegation on a three-day inspection visit to Tokyo starting today.
It’s the first official review of Tokyo’s Games preparations since the Japanese capital secured hosting rights at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires last September.
Coates of Australia is chair of the IOC coordination commission for the 2020 Games. He will be joined on the visit by vice chair Alex Gilady, Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli, his successor Christophe Dubi, and the man replacing Felli as sports director, Kit McConnell.
Other members of the inspection team include Xavier Becker, the IOC’s head of venues, infrastructure and services, and Pierre Ducrey, head of Olympic Games Coordination.
Coates and his team will be meeting the Tokyo 2020 organising committee for the first time. Tokyo finalized the composition of its executive committee last week when six vice presidents, three senior executive board members, and a director general were appointed to the board.
Tokyo 2020 leaders will present details of their key goals for the coming year, which include formation of a Games Foundation Plan, marketing and strategic communications activities and establishing a solid financial base.
Representatives from Games stakeholders – Tokyo 2020, the Japanese Olympic Committee, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and national Government – will be involved in the talks with the IOC delegation.
Tokyo 2020 organizers held their first meeting last week. (Getty Images)
While the inspection team arrives Wednesday, it won’t get down to business until Thursday when closed-door meetings are scheduled at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel.
Coates will deliver some opening remarks, along with Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori, Yoichi Masuzoe, governor of Tokyo, and a government representative.
The status of Olympic venues will form part of the review, with the IOC expected to ask for assurances about the budget and scale of the Tokyo Olympic Stadium project that has spiraled in cost since the Games were awarded.
A venue inspection visit to the site of the Olympic Village is planned on Thursday afternoon.
The IOC and Tokyo 2020 will hold a joint press conference on Friday to sum up the the key outcomes to emerge from the inspection.
Written by Mark Bisson
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