Australian Chef de Mission grilled over Olympics safety as Japan declares emergency
The calls to cancel or again postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are growing from within and outside of Japan, as the nation enters another state of emergency.
The Games will now be held without any spectators, with Japan recording thousands of new cases each day.
Jim Wilson called on the 472-person Australian Olympic team to follow in the footsteps of stars such as Nick Kyrgios and Ben Simmons and pull out of the Tokyo Games.
“What’s supposed to be a celebration of humanity, and the pinnacle in sport, will be held against the backdrop of empty stadiums and a sense of fear.”
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Australian Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman told Jim he is “not concerned” about the state of emergency, arguing Australians are safer now than before.
“We’re not coming in contact with any Japanese people except … those in official roles.
“We’re still confident that we can keep our team safe over there.”
Jim questioned how Australian athletes’ safety can be guaranteed when mingling with competitors.
“We need to stick very much to our own cohort … we’ve got our own gymnasium for example.”
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Legendary Australian track star Raelene Boyle boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics in protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and has joined the call to pull out of Tokyo.
“60 per cent of the athletes go to one Games … but we’re in a world pandemic!” she told Jim.
“We’re endangering the lives of these beautiful young Australians.”
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