Mikee Cojuangco anticipates plenty of adjustments in Tokyo 2020

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 28 2020 05:50 PM

Mikee Cojuangco anticipates plenty of adjustments in Tokyo 2020 1

MANILA, Philippines -- Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski will be quite busy for the foreseeable future, as she and the rest of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) work on reorganizing the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games. 

Cojuangco-Jaworski, 46, is part of the Coordination Commission for the Tokyo Olympics, aside from having recently been elected to the IOC Executive Board. 

"Kumplikado na mag-organize ng Olympics, pero lalo na na-postpone siya," Cojuangco-Jaworski said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.

The Tokyo Olympics was originally scheduled for July 24 until August 9, 2020, but had to be postponed to next year because of the global health crisis brought about by the novel coronavirus. It was an unprecedented decision, the first time that the Games had been postponed instead of cancelled outright.

Cojuangco-Jaworski anticipates that plenty of adjustments would have to be made by the hosts and the IOC.

"Within Tokyo 2020, I was chairing the working group that is organizing the Tokyo Waterfront City," she explained. 

The Tokyo Waterfront City is composed of venues in the district of Ariake and the artificial island of Odaiba, among others. Newer sports, including 3x3 basketball and skateboarding, were to take place in the venues.

According to the Tokyo 2020 website, the Tokyo Waterfront City would have featured a "Playground," where even visitors without tickets could watch the athletes warm-up, and even interact with 3x3 players and sports climbing competitors. 

"I was involved in the planning for that. A lot of that will change now," said Cojuangco-Jaworski. 

"Alam naman natin 'yung feel na parang X-Games -- walang upuan, nakatayo lahat, everyone's mingling. Taon namin pinaghandaan 'yun, but wala kaming magagawa. We have to make adjustments also," she said.

Cojuangco-Jaworski is also chairing the Tokyo 2020 Legacy group.

"We're gonna have a lot of meetings with the working group to reorganize ourselves and see kung ano ang mga kailangan na gawin na adjustment," she said.

Japan recently held subdued celebrations to mark one year to go until the postponed Games. Officials from both the organizing committee and the IOC have not wavered from the message that the Games will go on, serving as a symbol of the world's recovery from coronavirus.

However, experts and officials -- including IOC chief Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe -- have raised the prospect of the first peace-time cancellation of the multi-billion dollar Games if the pandemic is not under control by next year.

Public sentiment about the Games has also changed; two polls in July showed that the majority of Japanese think the Games should either be postponed again, or cancelled altogether. 

Much remains unclear, including the final cost of the delay, with organizers saying only that they plan a pared-down event that will involve as much cost-saving as possible.

Cojuangco-Jaworski, for her part, stressed that the decision-making will be shared by all stakeholders -- from the IOC, to the organizing committee, and the government of Japan.

"Maraming players, maraming stakeholders, and we just have to work together," she said. -- With a report from Agence France-Presse

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