The Princess Royal was the first member of the Royal Family to have competed in the Olympic Games when she rode The Queen's horse, Goodwill, in the equestrian three-day event at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.

Tokyo 2020: 'Not wholly confident but reasonable hope' - Princess Anne

Princess Anne says she does not think anybody is “wholly confident” that Tokyo 2020 will go ahead – but is “grateful” organisers are continuing to plan for the Games.

The Princess Royal, who is an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and British Olympic Association president, feels there is “reasonable hope” it will happen “in some form”.

Last year’s Olympics and Paralympics were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled for this summer.

The IOC insisted last week that it is “fully concentrated and committed to the successful and safe delivery” of the Games, with the Japanese government on board.

Despite much of Japan being under a state of emergency because of a third wave of Covid-19, the Olympics are due to begin on 23 July with the Paralympics following a month later from 24 August.

Asked if she was confident the Games would go ahead, Princess Anne told BBC Sport: “I don’t think anybody is wholly confident. I think we work on the basis that you plan for it, because, at the moment, particularly the Japanese are happy to work on that basis.

"And I think that's really good news because to be honest, they could have just said 'no, this is too difficult, too expensive and we're not going to do it. So I think we'd be grateful that they're keeping the door open and people should plan for that."

Princess Anne acknowledged the disrupted preparation and ongoing uncertainty had been “hard for many sportspeople who time their careers around that Olympic cycle”.

Speaking as part of an interview about the impact of the pandemic on disability sport, in her role as president of the Riding for the Disabled Association, Princess Anne said she thought the Games going ahead would represent a sign of progress and give people “something to aim for”.

Discussing the continuation of elite sport during lockdown, including coverage of events on television, she said: “You recognise the value that sport has. And just seeing it, and you continue to see it, is the thing that will continue to inspire and get people to come back too.”

Original article 05.02.21 on the BBC Sport website.

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