Athletes should get vaccines to show solidarity with Japanese people - IOC’s Bach

VIDEO SHOWS: INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENT, THOMAS BACH, VISITING NATIONAL STADIUM / BACH SPEAKING ABOUT VACCINATIONS AND TOKYO 2020 GAMES / ANTI-OLYMPICS PROTESTERS OUTSIDE STADIUM CHANTING / BACH VISITING ATHLETES' VILLAGE

SHOWS:

TOKYO, JAPAN (NOVEMBER 17, 2020) (FOREIGN POOL - ACCESS ALL)

1. INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENT, THOMAS BACH, WALKING INTO NATIONAL STADIUM

2. VARIOUS OF BACH BEING GIVEN TOUR OF STADIUM

3. BACH SPEAKING TO REPORTERS

4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENT, THOMAS BACH, SAYING:

"We made it clear from the very beginning that the first priorities are for the nurses, medical doctors and everybody who keeps our society alive, despite the coronavirus crisis. These are the people who deserve to be the first ones to be vaccinated."

5. VARIOUS OF BACH WALKING DOWN TRACK ON OWN AT NATIONAL STADIUM

6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENT, THOMAS BACH, SAYING:

"So, in this kind of uncertainty, it is only human that you also feel uncertain about such a big event as the Olympics in nine months from now."

7. VARIOUS OF BACH WALKING ALONE

8. BACH SAYING TO MEDIA (English): "YOU WANT TO BE AN ATHLETE AGAIN WHEN YOU FEEL THIS."

9. VARIOUS OF BACH SPEAKING WITH OFFICIALS

10. BACH POSING FOR VIDEO AND THEN TAKING OFF MASK / BACH TALKING INTO VIDEO

11. VARIOUS OF BACH LEAVING / AUDIO OF ANTI-OLYMPICS PROTESTERS CHANTING OUTSIDE NATIONAL STADIUM

TOKYO, JAPAN (NOVEMBER 17, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

12. ANTI-OLYMPICS PROTESTERS OUTSIDE NATIONAL STADIUM AFTER BACH HAS LEFT / BANNER READING (English): "JUST STOP IT"

13. BANNER READING (English): "THIS IS NO TIME FOR THE OLYMPICS DISASTER VICTIMS WONT BE SILENCED!"

14. VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS CHANTING

15. PROTESTER HOLDING SIGN READING (English): "ABOLISH IOC OLYMPICS KILL THE POOR"

TOKYO, JAPAN (NOVEMBER 17, 2020) (FOREIGN POOL - ACCESS ALL)

16. BACH ARRIVING FOR TOUR OF ATHLETES' VILLAGE AND GREETING OFFICIALS

17. VARIOUS OF BACH GREETING OFFICIALS

18. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENT, THOMAS BACH, SAYING:

"We will encourage athletes that whenever possible they have the vaccination because it is better for their health and it is also a demonstration of solidarity with their fellow athletes and also the Japanese people."

19. BACH SPEAKING WITH OFFICIALS

20. BACH SAYING TO MEDIA (English): "GOOD TO SEE YOU. THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE. ENJOY IT, BECAUSE DURING THE GAMES YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO COME IN."

21. BACH ENTERING ATHLETES' VILLAGE

STORY: International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach concluded his two-day visit to Tokyo on Tuesday (November 17) by visiting the National Stadium and encouraging the world's athletes to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to 'demonstrate solidarity' with their Japanese hosts.

Bach's visit, his first since the decision to postpone the Games in March, has been up-beat throughout and he has spoken about the great impact a vaccine could have on Tokyo's ability to host the Olympics next year.

During a visit to the Athletes' Village earlier on Tuesday, Bach repeated that athletes would not be forced to get a vaccination but suggested that they should for the sake of others.

"We will encourage athletes that whenever possible they have the vaccination because it is better for their health and it is also a demonstration of solidarity with their fellow athletes and also the Japanese people," said the German.

More than 11,000 athletes are expected to descend upon Tokyo for the Olympics, which begin on July 23, with thousands more coming for the subsequent Paralympics.

However, when pressed whether athletes were going to jump the queue to get any potential vaccine before the Games, Bach was adamant this wouldn't be the case.

Bach will depart Tokyo on Wednesday but this week Tokyo 2020 organisers are holding a project review meeting, hoping to decide on a range of COVID-19 counter-measures, including whether spectators will be allowed in venues next year.

A small group of anti-Olympics protesters gathered outside the stadium during the visit and their chanted slogans could be heard as Bach walked alone down the running track and looked up at the empty seats surrounding him.

(Production: Jack Tarrant)