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Thursday, April 09, 2020
IPC To Adjust Qualifications Criteria
International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons said the organisation are working with International Federations to adjust qualification criteria for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics following the rescheduling of the Games.

The Paralympic Games are now set to take place from August 24 to September 5 next year.

The dates were revealed last week, following the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Japanese capital due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 1.5 million people and killed over 92,000 people.

Qualification events for the Paralympic Games were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic.

Parsons said the IPC was encouraging International Federations to attempt to set up similar competitions to the cancelled events when sport can resume, enabling athletes to have their chance to qualify for the Games.

Athletes who have already qualified for the Paralympic Games are assured of their places at Tokyo 2020.

“With the new dates for the Games all of the IFs are having to adjust the established qualification criteria, but the principles of the criteria remain the same,” Parsons said.

“IFs are encouraged to follow a like-for-like approach, replacing lost qualification opportunities for similar events in the future.

“The slots that have been obtained by athletes for their National Paralympic Committee by March 24 should not be changed.

“We understand that a sport specific balance needs to be found to protect those athletes who were close to qualifying in 2020 and for those who will be the top performers in the 2021 season when it is back.

“Each International Federation has discretion to set a new deadline for athletes to become eligible to become selectable by their NPC.”

Parsons said postponement of the Paralympic Games would provide enough time for athletes to be classified.

“We don’t have a number yet, as it depends on the new qualification criteria,” Parsons said.

“It depends a lot, as we might have some new athletes coming and due to the postponement we might have more additional athletes that are new.

“We have some numbers in the sports where we are the International Federation, but it is a big number of athletes that we need to classify.

“It is not a majority, but some need to be reassessed and some are under review and need to be classified again.

“It will depend a lot of the qualification criteria per sport.

“Once this has been established, we can have a better idea as we are working with them on qualification and providing classification opportunities.

“If athletes have a confirmed status they do not need to worry, as this will be respected.

“Review status comes with a date and this date will be respected.”

The IPC President also said the organisation and the International Tennis Federation would likely freeze changes to the classification process.

New ITF classification rules are due to come into force in January, concluding an ongoing transition period.

Parsons said the date had been set with the Paralympic Games in mind, so expects the new regulations to be delayed to enable players to compete at Tokyo 2020.
Monday, April 06, 2020
Athletes are Asked to Share Staying Active

On the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), the IOC President, Thomas Bach, is encouraging everyone to Be Active, Stay Healthy, Stay Active and Stay Strong at a time when the world is facing an unprecedented health crisis, and when people are being asked to stay at home to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Olympic athletes around the world have already been sharing some creative ideas and tips on how to stay fit and healthy on the IOC’s social media channels. Everyone is encouraged to follow their example by staying active and posting their homework-outs on their social media channels using the hashtags #BeActive, #StayStrong, #StayHealthy and #StayActive.

Sport and physical activity are essential to staying active and healthy, especially in this time of uncertainty and social distancing. Physical activity improves mental health, helps beat negative thoughts, lowers stress and depression, and strengthens the immune system.

By joining the United Nations’ #BeActive campaign, the IOC and the whole Olympic Movement are showing the unity and solidarity of the sporting community with the rest of the world.

Today and beyond, let’s #BeActive and stay united!

Creating a historical link to the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, 6 April was declared the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace by the UN General Assembly in 2013, and has been celebrated each year since 2014. The IDSDP is an annual celebration of the power of sport to drive social change and community development, and to foster peace and understanding.

Saturday, April 04, 2020
IOC Announce Revised Qualification Deadlines

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has revised the qualification deadline for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after the Games were postponed until 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its qualification system principles, updated following confirmation of the new dates for the Games and a copy of which has been seen by insidethegames, the IOC said the qualification period would end on June 29th, 2021.

The date is exactly a week before the final entry deadline of July 5th, 18 days before the Olympics are due to open on July 23rd.

In a separate letter to National Olympic Committees, the IOC said it hoped to finalize the adapted qualification system later this month.

"We understand that at this time these are unlikely to include the full details on the dates and locations of the specified events, recognizing that these will follow later as the impacts of COVID-19 and its related restrictions become clearer," the IOC said in the letter.

"We aim to finalize the adapted qualification systems by mid-April, with the details on specific events to follow when available."

The IOC has also told International Federations to use their original qualification systems where possible after numerous events had been cancelled or postponed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"This principle encourages IFs to follow a like-for-like approach by replacing those lost opportunities that were allocating quotas with the same number of events," the IOC added.
Wednesday, April 01, 2020
Bermuda Athletes Olympic Scholarships to Continue to 2021

More than 1,600 athletes from 185 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) including Bermuda and the refugee athletes who are benefiting from the Olympic Solidarity programmes related to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will continue to enjoy this support up to the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, which will now be celebrated from July 23rd to August 8th 2021.

Bermuda Olympic Association’s Athletes Commission Chairman Julian Fletcher confirmed, “The IOC Athlete Commission and the athlete representatives were notified of the extension of all Olympic Solidarity funding until 2021, which includes the Olympic Scholarships.

Back in 2018 it was announced that Flora Duffy (Triathlon), Cecilia Wollmann (Sailing), Tyrone Smith (Athletics), Tre Houston (Athletics) and Jah-Nhai Perinchief (Athletics), received Olympic Scholarships through the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Solidarity.

Kirsty Coventry (IOC Athlete Commission Chair), Thomas Bach (IOC President) and 150 athlete representatives as well as Fletcher were on the call to update members on the postponement of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and answer any questions from the athlete representatives.”

Fletcher reflected on points from the call, which included:

The Quota places remain secured i.e. Qualified athletes remain qualified

The Tokyo 2020 heat and weather conditions report for the venues will be replicated for the 2021 postponement date.

Bach and IOC approved 2 principles which will carry out throughout the decision making for the reorganization of the Games. These principles are (1) to safeguard the health of the athletes (2) to safeguard Olympic sport.
Monday, March 30, 2020
Olympics & Paralympics 2021 Dates Agreement Reached

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan agreed new dates for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, in 2021.

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be celebrated from July 23rd to August 8th 2021. They also agreed on new dates for the Paralympic Games, which will be celebrated from August 24th until September 5th 2021.

The leaderships of the key parties came together via telephone conference earlier today, joined by IOC President Thomas Bach, Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshirō, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko and Olympic and Paralympic Minister Hashimoto Seiko, and agreed on the new schedule.

This decision was taken based on three main considerations and in line with the principles established by the IOC Executive Board (EB) on March 17th 2020 and confirmed at its meeting today. These were supported by all the International Summer Olympic Sports Federations (IFs) and all the National Olympic Committees (NOCs):

1. To protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus.

2. To safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic sport.

3. The global international sports calendar.

Following today’s decision, the IOC President said: “I want to thank the International Federations for their unanimous support and the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees for the great partnership and their support in the consultation process over the last few days. I would also like to thank the IOC Athletes’ Commission, with whom we have been in constant contact. With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge. Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”

Andrew Parsons, the President of the IPC, commented: “It is fantastic news that we could find new dates so quickly for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world. When the Paralympic Games do take place in Tokyo next year, they will be an extra-special display of humanity uniting as one, a global celebration of human resilience and a sensational showcase of sport. With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games 512 days away, the priority for all those involved in the Paralympic Movement must be to focus on staying safe with their friends and family during this unprecedented and difficult time.”

The President of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, Mori Yoshirō, said: “IOC President Thomas Bach and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee held a conference call today to discuss in detail the revised dates of the Tokyo 2020 Games. Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Hashimoto Seiko and Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko joined the call. I proposed that the Games should be hosted between July and August 2021, and I really appreciate that President Bach, having discussed this proposal with the various international sports federations and other related organisations, kindly accepted my proposal.
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