Call off Tokyo Games: Pinsent to ‘tone deaf’ Olympic committee

Four-time Olympic rowing champion Matthew Pinsent believes IOC chief Thomas Bach is “tone deaf” in his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four-time Olympic rowing champion Matthew Pinsent.   -  Reuters

Four-time Olympic rowing champion Matthew Pinsent believes International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach is “tone deaf” in his response to the coronavirus pandemic. He further said that the Tokyo Olympic Games, scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9, should be called off.

Various athletes have been saying that IOC was risking their health by going ahead with the Tokyo Games amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has so far claimed close to 9,000 lives across the world.

I’m sorry Mr Bach but this is tone deaf,” Pinsent tweeted on Wednesday, referring to the IOC President.

“The instinct to keep safe (not to mention obey government instructions to lock down) is not compatible with athlete training, travel and focus that a looming Olympics demands of athletes, spectators organizers etc. Keep them safe. Call it off,” the 49-year-old, who won gold at four consecutive Olympics from 1992 until 2004, added.

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Bach gave an in-house interview on Wednesday after speaking to over 200 athletes about the impact of the outbreak on Tokyo 2020. He described the talks as “constructive” and insisted the IOC was being “very realistic” in its analysis of the situation.

The Tokyo 2020 organising committee is committed to host the Games as scheduled, which they believe will bring hope to people in difficult times, Bach said.

The IOC has claimed there is no need for “any drastic decisions at this stage” regarding this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, despite growing concern over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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