As sailors, you need resilience and there are times when you are tested beyond the limits of human endeavours, whether you are sailing around the world non-stop on your own or testing yourself in the smallest of dinghies in strong wind and waves, you need to remain resilient and focused on the task at hand.
In preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition, it has been incredibly heartwarming to see this value embodied by World Sailing and the athletes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Talking about the pandemic, we must not forget about friends and families that have lost loved ones. Our heartfelt condolences go out to them, and we are extremely thankful for the medical services available throughout the world.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is a shining beacon in this pandemic and allows us all to dream and be inspired by exceptional feats of human endeavour.
We are thankful to the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, Government of Japan and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, alongside their partners, for their committed and diligent work. The framework they have established has been thorough, well received and critical to the delivery of the Games.
For our part, World Sailing has been in close and regular dialogue with the IOC and Tokyo 2020, addressing the challenges that have arisen and finding practical ways to deliver a safe environment for athletes, officials, volunteers and most importantly, the Japanese people.
We would like to highlight how sailing’s COVID Liaison Officers have acted, with much professionalism and care. All athletes, technical teams, officials and staff are following the guidelines with great responsibility.
Our team know the importance of putting health and safety of themselves and others at the forefront of their mind and we will continue to do so throughout these Games.
The spirit of the Japanese people and the thousands of volunteers since our arrival has been overwhelming, their culture has shone brightly. The enthusiasm, desire to help and passion for showcasing their beautiful country has been highly evident, and the local technical team are exceptional.
We are saddened that the Japanese people will not be able to experience these Games in person at the venues. The passion of the fans inspires the athletes, and it is a shame we will not see spectators at Enoshima Yacht Harbour.
An opportunity to bring thousands of fans to watch our sport live, and in person, does not arise very often, but safety and health has no greater priority. The Olympic Broadcasting Services team are the best storytellers in the world and with new technology added in, such as lightweight onboard cameras and drones, the story of our sport at the Games will be told better than ever before.
Since 2018, World Sailing has been hosting events at Enoshima Yacht Harbour. We know the venue well; the sailors understand Sagami Bay and we are delighted with the preparatory work the Organising Committee has delivered. The Japanese Sailing Federation have been helpful, proactive and we have every confidence that these Games will leave a lasting legacy for the sport in Japan.
We are extremely proud of the World Sailing team who have been hands-on in preparing for the Games. Alongside our committed staff, we have 65 International Technical Officials who are all volunteers and highly dedicated to our sport. They are supported by the National Technical Officials and we really appreciate their experience and commitment to ensure sailing is a huge success at this phenomenal venue.
World Sailing will use the opportunities presented to us over the coming days to promote our sport to new and existing fans. A sport that harnesses the power of nature, technological advancements in performance and combines high levels of athleticism makes for a wonderful spectacle.
We invite the world to follow these Games and enjoy the best sailors in the world giving everything they have for their nation.
By World Sailing President, Quanhai Li and Chief Executive Officer, David Graham