World Sailing prepares for a safe and successful Olympic sailing competition
by WS Chairman Quanhai Li and CEO David Graham July 24, 2021 23:17 UTC
July 25 – August 4, 2021
470 training sessions before Tokyo 2020 © World Sailing
As sailors, you need resilience. There are times when you are tested beyond the limits of human endeavour. Whether you’re circumnavigating the globe solo non-stop or testing yourself in the smallest of dinghies in strong winds and waves. You need to stay resilient and focused on the task at hand.
In the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic sailing competition, it has been incredibly heartening to see this value embodied by World Sailing and the athletes amid the Covid pandemic.
Speaking of the pandemic, let’s not forget the friends and families who have lost loved ones. Our heartfelt condolences go out to them and we are extremely grateful for the medical services available worldwide.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are a shining beacon in this pandemic and allow us all to dream and be inspired by exceptional human feats. We thank the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Government of Japan and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and their partners, for their committed and diligent work. The framework they established was rigorous, well received and essential to the achievement of the Games.
For its part, World Sailing has maintained close and regular dialogue with the IOC and Tokyo 2020, addressing the challenges that have arisen and finding practical ways to provide a safe environment for athletes, officials, volunteers and, most importantly again, to the Japanese people.
We would like to highlight how the sailing Covid liaisons acted, with great professionalism and care. All athletes, technical teams, officials and staff are following the guidelines with great responsibility. Our team knows the importance of putting their health and safety and that of others at the forefront of their minds and we will continue to do so throughout these Games.
The spirit of the Japanese people and thousands of volunteers since our arrival has been overwhelming, their culture has shone brightly. The enthusiasm, the desire to help and the passion to showcase their beautiful country has been very evident, and the local technical team is exceptional.
We are saddened that the Japanese cannot experience these Games in person at the venues. The passion of the fans inspires the athletes, and it’s a shame we won’t see spectators at Enoshima Yacht Harbour. The opportunity to bring thousands of fans to watch our sport live and in person doesn’t come around very often, but safety and health don’t have a higher priority. The Olympic Broadcast Services team is made up of the best storytellers in the world and with the addition of new technologies, such as lightweight on-board cameras and drones, the story of our sport at the Games will be told better than ever.
Since 2018, World Sailing has been organizing events at Enoshima Yacht Harbour. We know the place well, the sailors know Sagami Bay and we are delighted with the preparatory work provided by the organizing committee. The Japan Sailing Federation has been helpful, proactive and we are confident that these Games will leave a lasting legacy for the sport in Japan.
We are extremely proud of the World Sailing team who took an active part in preparing for the Games. Alongside our committed staff, we have 65 international technical officials who are all volunteers and very dedicated to our sport. They are supported by the National Technical Officials and we really appreciate their experience and commitment to making sailing a huge success at this phenomenal venue.
World Sailing will use the opportunities that come our way over the next few days to promote our sport to new and existing fans. A sport that harnesses the power of nature, advances in performance technology and combines high levels of athleticism for a marvelous spectacle.
We invite the world to follow these Games and enjoy the best sailors in the world who give their all for their nation.