“Honestly, everybody respects this decision. We expected this decision
sooner or later.
“It’s a very unfortunate situation, but we do understand the reasons
and we do accept the situation, for sure.”
In practical terms how much is this a setback for the Czech Olympic
Committee? I guess you would have had hotels booked in Tokyo and things
“I would divide this up into two parts.
“The first part is all the arrangements that we made with the Organising
“I do expect that a very cooperative approach to solving the problem.
“And we hope that tickets and accommodation and all that kind of stuff
will just be moved.
“We also hope there will be no additional financial requirements.
“The other part is arrangements with other bodies – and there are
significant losses of course.
“I’m talking about private accommodation and mainly we had some kind of
down payments on travelling, especially for camps before the Olympics and
that kind of stuff.
“And that will be pretty costly.”
Generally speaking what have been the reactions of Czech athletes to the
news of the postponement of the Olympics?
“Generally everybody is happy, because they know exactly what the
“Czech athletes are not in a good situation because, as you know, for
something like 14 days ago, almost three weeks now, all the venues were
“That means most athletes can’t have relevant preparation for the
“There are sports like swimming – there is no single swimming pool open
in the Czech Republic, which is terrible.
“From this point of view, the vast majority of athletes are happy to know
where we are and they’re not nervous and they’re not struggling.
“On the other hand, athletes did preparations for years for the Olympics
and everybody was targeting the Olympics competition.
“Also there are plenty of athletes who wanted to finish their career at
the Olympics so it’s a big decision for them – if they will continue or
if they will stop now, before the Olympics.
“So there are mixed feelings but for everybody it’s good that we do
understand that this year is not happening and it’s been postponed.”
Obviously we’re talking about quite a long way into the future, but what
will it mean to the world when the Tokyo Olympics do finally happen? The
Olympics of course are the biggest sporting event in the world.
“You know, I think the Olympics are not just the biggest sporting event
but they are, as we say, a celebration of humanity.
“The Olympics are much more than sport.
“It’s not like the World Cup, which is about football – the Olympics
are about humanity.
“What we believe is that the Olympics will be a celebration of humanity,
with very special content of the fight against the coronavirus.
“We hope for everybody that the Olympics will be like a new beginning.
“Because I’m afraid that after this crisis the world will never be
world as it used to be.
“All of us hope that there will be a new beginning and the Olympics will
be like a trigger for that – or just an announcement that the world is
going to be back in business.”