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The Olympic Village is fantastic and our advance members of the Canadian Team have set up an amazing space for us here – I can’t wait for you to join us in Tokyo! I’ve already been doing my daily spit collection and temperature recording and, just like in Canada, I wear my mask, wash my hands and keep some distance from those around me. Even though it’s different – trust me, as athletes are now arriving – the potential energy is building… it feels VERY OLYMPIC here!
I know not all of you will be coming to the OV and while reports from many of the host cities and venues have been that they are organized and incredibly welcoming, there are some areas where COVID-19 concerns prevail. Whatever your situation – we’ll do everything we can to make it better, but please – don’t let it throw you off course.
I’ve mentioned many times that this is my 10th Olympic Games, so that means 10 Olympic Villages, 10 Olympic “Vibes” and 10 Host Cities, their volunteers and host populations. So far – I’ve met nothing but friendly excited faces – but we know that there is tension among the Japanese public, and the Japanese Government is determined that these will be a safe and successful Games, for the athletes and the Japanese people. And they will be!
The other day, in the global Chef de Mission meeting, IOC President Thomas Bach stressed the importance of following all COVID-19 Protocols “regardless if you think they are logical or not.” That the Playbook rules exist and are enforced is the reason that the Government of Japan allowed the IOC to have these Games. Without the Playbook rules we’d all be waiting another 3 years for the Paris 2024 Games for the chance to challenge our Olympic Dreams.
This is not the time, nor the Games, to be looking for “grey zone” work arounds. Whether you are in Tokyo or in a pre-Games Host City, just settle into the rules, play by them and thrive in the environment that is. It is what it is – and someone is going to win in these conditions.