Just as in a normal Olympic year, facilitating a smooth logistical operation to enable Ireland's athletes to realise their potential is the goal of the Olympic Federation of Ireland. However, it's one that has become much more difficult due to a Games that will begin later this month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

OFI president Sarah Keane outlined plans for Team Ireland at Tokyo 2020 when she appeared on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne.

An Ireland team of 116 competitors are putting the finishing touches to their preparations, aided by sizable support team.

"They're almost all there at this stage," Keane told listeners.

"They'll be moving into the village over the weekend. Most of the Irish team are actually competing in week one.

"So from that perspective, they'll almost all be in the village over the next couple of days.

"Our chef de mission, deputy chef, and others who have gone in to the village two or three days ago when it was opened.

"They're getting it ready, they're making sure the Irish flag is up so they recognise their home in the village. They're personalising it, so they're going to have some of our medallists from the past on posters all over the walls. Things like that make them feel the pride of it and also make them feel at home."

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The spectre of Covid-19 looms large over the Games, with a state of emergency set to last throughout the competition at the 32nd Olympiad.

"Covid is at this point by far our biggest challenge," Keane admitted.

"A month before anybody goes they get tests. And then they get tested again within two weeks of travel. And then they get tested again twice within three days of travel before they get on the plane.

"We made a decision about a year and a half ago to partner with Qatar Airways. All of our athletes are travelling business class so from a safety perspective they are a little bit more cocooned on the plane."

The testing regime continues when Team Ireland, some of whose members are not vaccinated, disembark at their destination.

Antigen tests are conducted at the airport, with those who test positive then undergoing PCR testing and facing the prospect of isolation if those tests also return a positive result.

The pandemic has necessitated a bubble approach which will dilute the Olympic experience for athletes.

"You're going from the village straight to your venue and straight back again," the OFI president explained.

"There's no public transport, there's no stopping on the way anywhere. Even within Team Ireland, they're going to be within their own support bubbles.

"There's not even going to be the normal mixing that there would be within the team."

With crowds barred from Olympic venues, competitors will bid for Olympic glory in silent arenas, something which they've not become accustomed to, but the absence of family and friends may be felt more keenly.

"Some athletes absolutely thrive off the crowd and will miss it, without a doubt, even though a lot of them are very used to it now over the last 18 months," Keane said.

"But there are other athletes for whom it would have been the biggest crowd that they ever would have been in front of, and psychologically they would have to prepare for, so for some they won't miss it as much as others.

"I don't think that is the big experience they'll miss. I think family and friends not being there will be difficult."

Follow all the action from Tokyo 2020 with our 24-hour coverage on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app, watch live on RTÉ2 or RTÉ Player and listen to updates and live commentaries on RTÉ Radio.