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AP Interview: 33 sports vote unanimously on Olympic dates

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FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 filer, Francesco Ricci Bitti speaks after receiving the award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement, during an Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) awards ceremony, in Washington. Despite some early differences of opinion, the 33 sports that make up the Olympic program voted unanimously on Monday to delay the Tokyo Games by a full year. Moments later, the International Olympic committee made it official. We were the last to express our view. Were the ones who have problems with the calendar to deal with, said Francesco Ricci Bitti, the president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF). (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

ROME – Despite some early differences of opinion, the 33 sports that make up the Summer Olympic program voted unanimously on Monday to delay the Tokyo Games by a full year.

Moments later, local organizers and the International Olympic Committee made it official.

“We were the last to express our view. We’re the ones who have problems with the calendar to deal with,” said Francesco Ricci Bitti, president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

“Two minutes after the end of our call, the press release was issued,” Ricci Bitti told The Associated Press in an interview.

IOC President Thomas Bach held three conference calls before giving the go-ahead to make official the July 23-Aug. 8 dates for 2021.

First, Bach consulted with the local organizers in Tokyo. Then he talked with the IOC’s executive board. The ASOIF — which represents the international track and field, swimming and gymnastics federations as well as every other Summer Games sport — came last.

“We knew last night. … Today the vote was unanimous by the 33 federations,” Ricci Bitti said by phone from Switzerland. “Everyone was convinced that this was the best solution.”

Including NBA, Major League Baseball, golf and tennis players was decisive. So was keeping NBC happy.