Dubai: The UAE has assured the international sporting world of its full support in the wake of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games postponement, earlier this week.
The UAE made the assurance to the international sporting fraternity after participating in a video-conference meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) from nearly 200 nations, earlier on Friday.
The UAE was represented by Ahmad Al Tayeb, Chairman, Technical and Sports Department of the UAE NOC, who assured the virtual meeting of top international sports leaders that the UAE was “well and truly behind each and every move from the IOC and the 2020 Tokyo organisers”. The meeting was chaired by IOC President Thomas Bach, who, in his opening address urged for “like-mindedness and unity on all fronts” from the NOCs participating in the meeting.
“He was very appreciative of what the NOCs have been doing by themselves to ensure the sports movements across the world stay relevant and alive,” Al Tayeb told Gulf News after spending nearly two hours on a specially set-up video conference facility.
“A decision to postpone the Olympic Games has so many varied consequences. It was no way an easy decision to take, but Mr Bach assured us that the principles of solidarity and unity will shine through our example of sticking together as one fraternity,” he added.
Al Tayeb is among the few in the UAE with a Sports Management Masters degree from the International Academy of Sport Science and Technology (AISTS), Lausanne. Endorsed by the IOC, the 15-month AISTS postgraduate degree is co-signed by some of the best academic and technology institutes in Switzerland.
“As a nation, we are novices on the international sporting arena, and yet it is our responsibility to support such an important decision of the postponement of the Olympics. That said, we are convinced that Japan will deliver a truly amazing Games whenever it is held next year. I am sure and certain that the next Olympics will be one of a kind Games, where humanity will triumph,” Al Tayeb said.
“Any sort of sport gives humanity a right to self-determination, a unique space to express on a common platform. Sport also unites and unifies us all. We are all on the same page and it is this time that we truly need to stand by each other with the common goal of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Tokyo will be the ninth appearance of the UAE squad at a Summer Olympics. The UAE NOC was formed in 1979 and recognised by the IOC in 1980. They made their debut at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and won their first-ever medal — a gold in the double trap shooting — through Sheikh Ahmad Hasher Al Maktoum at the 2004 Games in Athens. The next medal for the nation came at the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro when Sergiu Toma landed a bronze in the men’s 81kg category in judo.
So far, Ivan Remarenco and Victor Scvortov, both judokas, are the only two athletes who have officially qualified to represent the UAE at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Scvortov will be competing in the men’s 73kg category, while Remarenco will be in the men’s -100kg category.