Organising Committees on track to hosting successful Games
Following the final report outlining the successes of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the Organising Committees for Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024 delivered presentations to the 134th IOC Session on the progress being made for the upcoming Games editions.
The final report on the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 was presented by Gunilla Lindberg, Chair of the Coordination Commission. Speaking about the Games of New Horizons, she reiterated that the Games had been a great success and that the Olympic Winter Games had been taken to a new level. A film on the Games served as a reminder of these successes, including incredible sporting performances, unprecedented global reach, and the historic unity on the Korean peninsula through a unified North and South Korean Olympic team competing for the first time. This Games edition was also one of many firsts: six spectacular new events; the highest number of athletes at over 2,800; the highest proportion of female athletes at 41.3 per cent; and six NOCs competing for the first time. Thanks to the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020 and the New Norm, the Games recorded a surplus of USD 55 million, and the IOC invested its share of the financial surplus into the newly launched PyeongChang 2018 Legacy Foundation. A future of new possibilities for Korea awaits.
With a new Emperor ascending to the throne on 1 May, Japan began the first year of the imperial era of Reiwa. This new era promises to be a golden one for sport according to Toshiro Muto, Tokyo 2020’s CEO, with the Olympic Games 2020, the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2021 World Masters Games all coming in quick succession. According to Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission Chair John Coates, the Tokyo organisers are on track, as they continue to meet their key milestones. The Tokyo team underlined their progress by announcing that four new venues were now complete – Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Yumenoshima Park Archery Field, Sea Forest Waterway and the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre – with the remaining five to be finalised by next February. This summer, Tokyo 2020 will also start to deliver the 54 test events to be staged over the next year, as well as tests for transport and heat counter measures.
Anticipation across Japan is growing, with 7.5 million people registering for a Tokyo 2020 ID, which allows them to apply for tickets; 200,000 people applying to be Games volunteers; 75 companies now partners of the Tokyo Games; and the Olympic Torch Relay route unveiled and scheduled to visit all 47 prefectures in Japan. Finally, Tokyo is also looking at the legacy of the Games with numerous sustainability initiatives, including using urban mining to gather the metal for the Games medals, donated wood for the Olympic Village Plaza, recycled plastic for the medal podiums, and recycled aluminium from prefabricated housing units used following the Great East Japan Earthquake to help produce the Olympic torches, while materials recycled from collected PET bottles have been used in the torchbearer uniforms.
The Beijing 2022 Organising Committee presented a very positive report about the great strides being made for the next Olympic Winter Games. All competition venues will be completed by 2020, and plans for 15 test events are on track, including the first test event at the National Alpine Ski Centre in February 2020. Beijing is also benefitting from the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020 and the New Norm as it aims to deliver cost-effective, intelligent and green Games. The announcement of its Legacy Coordination Committee reiterates the importance of post-Games plans for the Organising Committee. There are already plans for each new Olympic venue, while the venue legacy of Beijing 2008 will also be leveraged. The upcoming Games continue to inspire millions of Chinese people to take part in winter sports activities, as part of the goal to get 300 million people in China active and participating in winter sports. The recent 1,000-days-to-go event served to generate great public interest in China, and the partnerships with 1,024 local schools promote winter sport and the Olympic values to youth in the country.
Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet and CEO Etienne Thobois began their update to the IOC Session with a presentation on Paris 2024’s vision that “sport changes lives”. Paris 2024 explained how this vision is shaping its Games plan, from offering mass participation events at the Olympic Games and creating an innovative and sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Village to the creation of the Terre de Jeux 2024 label that aims to unite French sports organisations around the Olympic values. With construction needed for just two competition venues and the Olympic and Paralympic Village, Paris 2024 also reported that progress towards delivering these facilities is on schedule.