Crowds will be smaller and receptions have been scrapped at the Tokyo 2020 torch lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia, Greece, next week as the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) introduced measures to protect against the coronavirus, it said on Tuesday.
The torch lighting in Olympia, which marks the start of a relay that will end with the opening ceremony on July 24 in Tokyo, will be held at the site of the ancient Olympic Games on March 12.
Following a seven-day relay in Greece there will be a handover ceremony in Athens to Japan on March 19.
“In addition, it was also decided that every two days there will be analysis and study of data and considering the situation, starting on Thursday, a new meeting will be held to make decisions with regards to the Olympic Flame ceremonies,” the HOC said in a statement.
Greek torch-lighting organisers said the dress rehearsal the day before, which usually boasts large crowds, will be held without spectators while accreditations have been trimmed to the bare minimum and receptions and lunches scrapped.
The coronavirus has forced the cancellation of countless sports events and performances in recent weeks, with the most recent being the postponing of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.
The outbreak has raised alarms for the general public, yet the International Olympic Committee insists the Games will go on and will be successful.
Sourced by: Reuters