IOC President Thomas Bach encouraged people to remain active ©IOC

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has encouraged people to stay active, strong and healthy during the coronavirus crisis, before celebrating Tokyo 2020 as a festival of resilience and solidarity.

Bach made the call in a message published ahead of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, which will take place tomorrow.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations’ supported event will focus on the health benefits of participating in sporting and physical activity, especially in this time of uncertainty and social distancing.

Organisers have asked people to be active, stay healthy and demonstrate solidarity, adding that team spirit will help the world through the current challenges together.

Bach echoed the sentiment in a video message where - riding an indoor bike - he said remaining active would help people through the crisis and afterwards.

“We are all in the same situation right now, we all cannot live our normal lives,” he said.

“We all have every day to find new ways to stand through this crisis.

“There, sport and physical activity can play an important role.

“An important role for staying strong and for staying healthy, but also to get ready for the day after this crisis.

“For the day we are all longing for, when we can resume our professional and social life.

“And for the day when finally we can hug each other again and can play sport together again.

“So, join all the Olympic athletes, and me, by staying active, staying strong and staying healthy to be ready for this very day.”

Dates for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were announced on Monday (March 30).

The Games will open on July 23 next year, with the Closing Ceremony taking place on August 8.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan’s capital city was postponed last month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The IOC and Tokyo 2020 had faced mounting pressure from athletes and National Olympic Committees to postpone the Games.

Bach has claimed Tokyo 2020 can be a “festival of resilience”, with the event marking a celebration of the world coming through the crisis.

He said the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace was another reason to become active and look forward to the Games.

“One reason more to get active, to play sport and one reason more to look forward to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which, because of the situation we are in now, we will celebrate next year,” Bach said.

“But if you are staying active, if you are staying strong, if you are staying healthy, we can celebrate them all together as a great festival of our resilience, as a great festival of our solidarity, and as a great festival of the unity of humankind in all of our diversity.

“Join this campaign.

“Stay active, stay strong and stay healthy.”

Over 1.2 million coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide since the outbreak began, resulting in more than 68,000 deaths to date.

Countries have introduced strict measures, such as lockdowns, aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

People have been encouraged to remain physically active despite the lockdowns.