Thursday, May 21, 2020
By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE International Olympic Committee (IOC) has earmarked a fund of $800m to bear the costs of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics and support “the wider Olympic movement.”
According to a press release issued by the organisation, the fund will include “an aid package” of $150 million for the Olympic Movement, including the International Federations (IFs), the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the IOC-Recognised Organisations, to enable them to continue their sports, their activities and their support to their athletes.
The bulk of the fund, $650 million, is set to cover the cost for the organisation of the postponed games.
International Federations, National Olympic Committees and IOC-Recognised Organisations are able to benefit from the aid package .
“This funding is meant to help them continue their mission to develop their sports, prepare for the Olympic Games and support their athletes. The IOC and its stakeholders are still going through the analysis process to assess the needs on a case-by-case basis.”
The announcement came just days after the Bahamas Olympic Committee announced the formation of an Athletes’ Welfare Commission. The commission’s responsibility will be to support athletes through various means during the pandemic.
“The commission will be in direct contact with athletes who are Olympic bound and their federations to see what assistance they require,” BOC president Rommel Knowles told The Tribune.
“We know that the majority of athletes will be looking for financial assistance and for those athletes that do, we will assist as best as we can. But we also know that some of the athletes might need physiological training to get through this pandemic. Some might just need someone to talk to. Maybe they might need to speak to a fitness expert to ensure that they are staying fit. Whatever the needs are from the Welfare Commission, we want to be able to be there for them.”
The commission, fully staffed and managed by a committee, will be headed by BOC vice president Roy Colebrook.
Olympic Solidarity increased its budget for athlete programmes by $15 million, which includes scholarships for over 1,600 athletes from 185 NOCs. They also increased the budget for IOC subsidies for the participation of NOCs in the Olympic Games by $10.3 million. This additional budget will allow Olympic Solidarity to make available additional funds relating to exceptional Games-related costs incurred by NOCs due to the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The Olympic Movement is facing an unprecedented challenge. The IOC has to organise postponed Olympic Games for the first time ever, and has to help its stakeholders come through this global crisis. This new situation will need all our solidarity, creativity, determination and flexibility.
“We shall all need to make sacrifices and compromises. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. This situation requires every one of us to do our part, and this applies to all of us, including the IOC. With today’s financial plans, we are addressing these needs.”