Athletes set sights on Tokyo 2020 following venue tour
Athletes and their needs were the central focus of the venue tour that kicked off the fourth meeting of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
At the Aomi Sports Cluster Venue, the Coordination Commission was greeted by both world-class athletes and rising stars who hope to compete at Tokyo 2020, when their sports will be included on the Olympic programme for the first time ever.
“It was my first visit to the venue site for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” said Akiyo Noguchi, who is an IFSC Climbing World Championship bronze medallist in bouldering. “Today’s visit made me feel that this is becoming a reality, and I am now totally determined. I would love to climb the wall right here three years from now.”
Noguchi was joined by fellow sport climber Tomoa Narasaki, who is the 2016 bouldering world champion, as well as skateboarding up-and-comers Taihou Tokura and Aori Nishimura. The teenagers provided a glimpse into the future when they completed a series of tricks at the venue location.“As you can see, they are all sports which engage with young people; the skateboarders here this evening are 14 and 15 years old. In terms of our vision, Tokyo 2020’s vision, in wanting to bring these urban sports to the people, I think this is a good location,” said IOC Vice-President John Coates, who serves as the Chair of the Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020.
Today’s visit made me feel that this is becoming a reality, and I am now totally determined. I would love to climb the wall right here three years from now.Akiyo Noguchi
Included in the group was also Ryo Kawamura, who hopes to represent Japan at the Paralympic Games as a member of its 5-a-side football team.
The inclusion of sport climbing and skateboarding, in addition to surfing, karate and baseball/softball, resulted from the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations.
The Coordination Commission also visited the Olympic Village in Tokyo, which is located on a peninsula between the Tokyo Bay group of venues and the Heritage Zone’s athletics facilities. The Village will be at the heart of the Games for the athletes, as it will provide them with a home away from home, as well as easy access to the Tokyo venues.The National Stadium was also a stop on the tour, where it was evident that progress was well underway to hit its target completion date at the end of 2019. The three-level stadium, which will contain 60,000 seats, will be used for years to come following the Olympic Games.