Sebastian Coe visits Olympic stadium, weighs in on possible athletes’ protests

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) Sebastian Coe, a member of the International Olympic Committee and former Olympian, visited the National Stadium in Tokyo today. In a speech at the newly built venue, Coe offered his opinion that athletes should be allowed to protest respectfully at the Games next summer.

“I have been very clear that if an athlete chooses to take a knee at the podium, then I’m supportive of that,” said Coe. He added that protesting should be done respectfully, but his statement may still contradict official Olympic policy banning political, religious or racial propaganda.

Coe is a former track and field medalist and British lawmaker. He also headed the 2012 London Games and is currently visiting Japan to discuss particulars about the stadium and to meet with the head of the Tokyo Olympic committee, Yoshiro Mori, and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

Despite the rainy weather, Coe expressed enthusiasm for the postponed Olympics and the stadium, commenting that he hadn’t seen the structure since it was in the infancy of its construction and that he was delighted to view its development.

“Let me just reinforce my thankfulness to my team and the stadium itself is sustainable and is beautifully designed,” he said. “I think that athletes will be able to perform their best in this stadium.“

On the issue of the pandemic’s effects on the Games, Coe stressed that it is still unclear what will happen in the next few months. He said, however, that adaptations would be made and that it would be a “fantastic event” with athletes receiving support so that they can focus on their sport.

He added that although many athletes have been confined to their homes because of lockdowns, many have maintained a high level of fitness and will be at the top of their game at the Olympics. (PanOrient News)

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