WHAT’S THE ISSUE?
There was much deliberation over whether this year’s Tokyo Olympics would – or should - go ahead during this pandemic. The year-long delay made people doubt it would ever happen, with the head of its organising committee Toshiro Muto even refusing to rule out cancelling the Games with just days to go.
Despite Covid-related fears Olympics are now well underway – albeit without the spectators – and we’re even seeing some new world records being set.
But just what impact is the absence of crowds having on the performance of athletes? Organisers are adamant that they’ve taken sufficient precautionary measures to protect people, but how much of a role did money play in the decision to go ahead? What are the latest efforts being made to tackle doping in sports? And how will the 2020 Games be remembered in the Olympic history books?
MEET THE EXPERT
Lord Sebastian Coe is the President of World Athletics, the international governing body for the sport, covering track and field as well as running and racewalking.
Sebastian Coe is also Chancellor of Loughborough University in the UK, Executive Chairman of CSM Sport and Entertainment and a member of the IOC Tokyo 2020 Coordination Committee, and council member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.
He was Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
During his own athletics career, Seb set 12 world records. At the Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980 he won gold in the 1500m and silver in the 800m, an achievement which he repeated in Los Angeles in 1984. In recognition of his success, he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Sebastian Coe retired from competitive athletics in 1990 and became a UK Member of Parliament, before receiving a Knighthood in the 2006 New Year’s Honours List and in 2013 received his Companion of Honour in recognition of the successful delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.
He’s also a Laureus World Sport Academy Member.
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