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Sir Chris Hoy hopes for memorable Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy believes the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will provide welcome relief as the Covid-19 pandemic abates – even without fans.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto revealed this week that a decision regarding international spectators and the capacity of each venue will be made by the end of March.

Six-time gold medalist Sir Chris believes competitors will get the most out of their country’s representation whether venues are full or not.

“If we have a competition it’s a big success,” he said.

“Over the past year the way all of our lives have been affected, if we could have the Olympics in one form or another it has to be a victory, even if it means there is no crowd to support the athletes.

“If it can go forward it will be fantastic, even if there are no fans, the athletes have to stay isolated in the hotels, even if this whole experience is a little watered down, better than it takes place in one form or another, that not at all.

“There is no doubt that it will be the same experience without a crowd, but ultimately in the heat of the moment, they will just be focused on their own performance and just the opportunity to compete in the Olympics, because for a lot of athletes , it could be the only chance in their life to represent their country at the Olympic or Paralympic Games.

Tokyo 2020: Sir Chris Hoy argues that the Olympics are a success even without fans |  Olympic News

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said the decision on whether fans will be able to attend the Olympics will be made by the end of March.

“Because we’ve been so sport-hungry for the past 12 months, anything you can watch or see and interact with may have a closer connection to you. So even if they would like to do it in front of a crowd, any competition is better than nothing. “

For many looking to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics, the traditional build-up no longer exists, with regional and warm-up competitions reduced, but Sir Chris believes that won’t be a major problem.

“After talking to a few riders they are 100 percent committed like it’s going ahead and it’s business as usual and that’s all you can do,” he said . “You can’t have the slightest thought that it might not be happening or that the training might be for nothing or it’s wasted effort. They won’t think that.

“In many ways, people will enjoy the Olympics and sport in general more. The relief it gives you, breaking the routine when we have all been stuck, sport has been this little escape so I hope the Olympics is a great opportunity for people to get lost in sport, to celebrate and empathize with the athletes when they win or lose and hopefully when we get through all of that people will want to get into the sport themselves. “

Sir Chris had some of his biggest triumphs at London 2012 and admitted he realizes how lucky he is to compete in front of his crowds.

He recalled: “Even before the whole coronavirus situation starts, you look back on your career and you are incredibly grateful because you realize that there is so much that can happen, injuries, accidents, illnesses, loss of shape which means you won’t be selected.

Tokyo 2020: Sir Chris Hoy argues that the Olympics are a success even without fans |  Olympic News

The coronavirus epidemic meant the postponement of the Olympic Games last summer

“To be able to compete in front of a home crowd at the home Olympics, we were all very aware back in the days of the 2012 special and how lucky we as athletes were to have this opportunity. You are grateful.

“I have been to four Olympics and have been fortunate enough to go when a lot of athletes can’t even go. But those who go, even if it’s just one alone will make the most of their opportunity and it will always be special even if there is no one in the crowd to cheer them on.

“They will know that at home they have their family and friends applauding the TV and all the fans who want it and if we can host this competition and keep that Olympic and Paralympic spirit going, that must be a good thing.”

There is the prospect of Sir Chris being passed as Britain’s most decorated Olympian and he suspects the Kennys could overtake him.

Jason Kenny has already equaled Sir Chris while his wife Laura Kenny is not far behind.

“The records are going to go at some point and if you are going to lose your record you want to lose it to a friend’s benefit and I think if this continues Jason will overtake me because the team sprint has a very good chance of medal, ”said Sir Chris.

Tokyo 2020: Sir Chris Hoy argues that the Olympics are a success even without fans |  Olympic News

Sir Chris predicts successful Olympics for Jason and Laura Kenny

“But we could both be passed by his wife: I think Laura has a very good chance of winning three gold medals and overtaking both of us.

“In many ways, the delay in the Olympics will have helped her. Last year she had a really bad fall and broke her collarbone just before the world championships. Olympic period.

“Laura is a former teammate and a very good friend and I would love to have her produce the goods.”

Sir Chris was speaking as a member of the Academy on behalf of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which uses sport to help disadvantaged young people around the world.

The glitzy annual Laureus World Sports Awards won’t take place as usual this year, but there is a lot of interest from Britons with Lewis Hamilton looking to retain his Sportsman of the Year award and Liverpool as Team of the Year.

Sir Chris added: “The Laureus Awards have traditionally been a big glitzy affair, every year the biggest names in the sport come and it’s a huge honor to win.

“This year the physical awards couldn’t take place, but we’re going to have virtual awards, and we still want to recognize all the great sporting achievements.

“It all started with Nelson Mandela’s incredible speech in 2000 that ‘sport has the power to change the world’ and I’m sure we all agree with that. I’m sure that will highlight too the Sport for Good category, where things are amazing. to improve the lives of children through the power of sport and that’s at the heart of the Laureus Foundation. “

This year, the Laureus Awards will not be presented in an open ceremony, but individually to the winners due to the persistent global pandemic.

The winners will be announced in May at a “Virtual” Awards event.

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