Today marks one year to the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games and the New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith says, they are fully committed to the path ahead.
Below, our New Zealand Team athletes reflect on the postponed Games, but also on Japan as a host nation, and how they continue to prepare and reset for Tokyo 2020.
With 365 days until the new Opening Ceremony date, New Zealand Olympic sport is facing both an incredible challenge, and an opportunity.
“Next year, we have the opportunity to take part in an Olympic Games that celebrates the world’s resilience and the unifying power of sport,” said CEO Kereyn Smith. “But we must not underestimate the task at hand. We are part of the reorganisation of the world’s most complex event taking place amidst global uncertainty.
“We know, however, just how much the Olympic Games mean to New Zealand athletes and all of New Zealand, and for that reason, we are 100% focused on our Team’s preparation, planning and delivery.”
Smith said the Tokyo 2020 competition schedule and venues had been reconfirmed this month which is a significant step forward.
“The basic framework of the revised Olympic Games has been confirmed. The next step is for the Olympic Games joint task force to move forward with Covid-19 countermeasures which will impact the New Zealand Team environment next year.”
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Joint Task Force comprises IOC and Tokyo Organising Committee leaders and is informed by a partnership with WHO along with other international and Japanese agencies.”
While organisers work to predict and plan for an uncertain world, athletes to are facing unprecedented times.
New Zealand Team Chef de Mission to Tokyo Rob Waddell says not only does today mark one year to go to the Olympic Games, but it also marks the eve of the original 2020 games.
“Today, in Tokyo, we would have been coming together as the New Zealand Team at the traditional team function. We would have been ready to march in the Opening Ceremony that would have been about to take place."
He said athletes’ experiences were all different. “These coming weeks mark moments in time that had been years in the making. Some may be feeling a sense of loss, others have been forced to delay life plans,”
“Others, however, have been given an invaluable opportunity to grow stronger or recover from injury. It is a real-time of reflection and we’re ready to do our utmost to ensure they are in the best position possible this time next year.”