Reigning Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi has spoken out strongly in favour of going ahead with the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
It is recalled last year, she accused the International Olympic Committee of putting athletes “at risk” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Stefanidi told Japan’s Kyodo news agency that it would be better to hold the Olympics without fans than not at all, adding that she thought athletes were overwhelmingly in favour of competing.
“I think that it’s a very different situation than what we had last year, where we didn’t really know anything about the virus,” she added.
Stefanidi said part of what makes this year’s Olympics possible is the host nation.
“I don’t think that there will be very many other countries other than Japan that I would trust that they can figure this out.”
“If we can have the Olympics with some spectators, that will be better of course… for me the worst-case scenario would be to completely cancel,” she concluded.
The Australian Olympic Committee denied reports that the 2021 Tokyo Olympics are cancelled.
The 2020 Olympics was pushed back to 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report in The Times, reveals that Japan has given up on any hope of hosting the Games and will now look for hosting rights to the 2032 Games instead.
Australian Olympic Committee chef de mission for the 2021 Games, Ian Chesterman insisted the report was nothing more than a rumour.
“It’s unfortunate that our athlete’s have to deal with this rumour mill,” he told Triple M.