The 2020 Summer Olympics Games, commonly known as Tokyo 2020, is an upcoming, international multi-sporting event. The games were originally set to occur from the 24th of July to the 9th of August 2020.
Due to the due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Organizing Committee said, on the 24th of March 2020, that the Games would be postponed to 2021. They claim that the games will happen no later than the summer of 2021. Despite the games being pushed to 2021, they will still be publicly branded and marketed as Tokyo 2020.
This will be the second time that Tokyo is hosting the Summer Olympics. The first time the hosted the Summer Olympics was in 1964, making it the first-ever city in Asia to host the Olympics twice. Overall, this will be the fourth Olympic Games to be held in Japan.
With the delay of the upcoming Olympics, there will be an introduction to new and additional competitions. These include sports like Madison cycling, 3×3 basketball, freestyle BMX, and other mixed events. The International Olympic Committee formulated a new policy that allows the hosting country to add events to the Olympic schedule.
Japan took this opportunity to let skateboarding, surfing, karate, and sports climbing make their debut. In addition, they will also ensure the return of softball and basketball for the first time since 2008.
Host City Selection
The International Olympic Committee met on the 7th of September to select the host city for the 2020 Summer Olympics. This meeting was 125th IOC Session held at the Buenos Aires Hilton in Argentina. There is an exhaustive ballot system in which there must be one winner. No city won over 50% in the first round. However, Madrid and Istanbul were both even in second place.
There was a runoff vote to determine which one of the two cities would move on in the race. The final vote was a head-to-head contest between Tokyo and Istanbul. Tokyo won by getting 60 votes over Istanbul that garnered 36 votes. Tokyo also managed to garner more than the minimum votes required for a majority, which is 49.
Development And Preparation
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government set aside over 3.67 billion USD to cover the full cost of hosting the event. The government is considering increasing slot capacity at its airports. A new railway line is in development to link both airports in Tokyo and would cut travel time by half. Yoshiro Mori is in charge of the Tokyo Organizing Committee. Seiko Hashimoto is overseeing preparations on behalf of the government.
Effect Of The COVID-19 Pandemic On The Games
The outbreak on the COVID-19 pandemic brought concerns about the safety of the athletes and visitors if the games were to take place according to the original schedule. The conservative Royal Mayoral candidate Shaun bailey argued that London would be able to host the games in case the location would need to be changed due to the pandemic. On the 18th of March 2020, the IOC expressed its opposition to the delay or cancellation of the event.
On March 24th, Britain, Canada, and Australia put out threats to withdraw from the games if the committee did not postpone them by a year. Then, the IOC and the organizing committee announced that the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics would be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.
Several Olympics have been canceled due to world wars. The 1940 Summer Olympics, which was originally awarded to Tokyo, was moved to Helsinki after the onset of the Second Sino-Japanese War. However, it was ultimately called off due to the wider onset of World War II. This marks the first Olympics to ever be postponed to a later date instead of being canceled.
In February of 2017, the Tokyo Organizing Committee launched an electronics recycling program in partnership with Japan Environmental Sanitation Center and NTT DoCoMo. They collected donations of electronics to be reclaimed as materials for the medals. The aim was to collect 8 tons of metals to produce the medals for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. There were collection boxes at public locations and NTT DoCoMo retail shops in April 2017. In addition, a design competition for the medals took off in December of the same year.
In May 2018, the organizing committee reported that they had obtained half the required 2,700 kilograms of bronze. However, they were struggling to obtain the necessary amount of silver. Thankfully, they had enough bronze in November 2018.
The unveiling of the designs was on n the 24th of July in 2019. Junichi Kawanishi is the creator of the medals for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. He was the winner of the nationwide competition.
The slogan of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics torch relay is “Hope Lights Our Way”. This is an excellent slogan because the Games can stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times. Therefore, the Olympic flame will be the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself currently.
Now, we have another year to build up anticipation for the Tokyo Olympics. During this time, athletes will be training hard and staying safe. With another year available to train, who knows what hights they will reach!