The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were in the spotlight during the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) meeting today in Lausanne, with a number of important decisions being taken on the sports front.
The IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee announced that Sapporo Odori Park in Hokkaido had been approved by the IOC EB as the venue for the marathon and race walk events. This followed confirmation from World Athletics.
The competition schedules have also been revamped to facilitate the support of NOC officials and coaches to the athletes, as Sapporo is located 800km to the north of Tokyo. The marathon and race walk events are now scheduled to be held on four consecutive days, from 6 to 9 August.
A decision was also taken to bring forward the start times of the triathlon and equestrian eventing (cross-country) events in Tokyo. The triathlon individual events will now start at 6.30 a.m. instead of 7.30 a.m. and the mixed relay at 7.30 a.m. instead of 8.30 a.m. The start time for equestrian eventing (cross-country) will now move from 8.30 a.m. to between 7.30 a.m. and 8 a.m.
The Japanese organisers also provided updates on their plans for the Olympic Torch Relay and heat measures at Games time. It was reported that seven out of nine new venues have now been completed, while Tokyo 2020 has recently been awarded ISO 20121 certification – a legacy of the London 2012 Games in sustainable event management. Finally, the popularity of the Games was underlined, with over 8 million people having now signed up to apply for tickets, which is a very positive sign for next year’s Games.
The organisers of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 reported that they had also recently been awarded ISO 20121 certification – the first event organisation in China to be awarded the certification. This Thursday, Beijing 2022 also announced that it will launch its volunteer programme, while preparations for its first test event in February in Yanqing are well underway.
Paris 2024 delivered an update on its progress, highlighting the successful launch of its emblem, which is liked by 83 per cent of French people. The Organising Committee also highlighted that it had recently signed its second domestic partner.
With just over one month to go to the Opening Ceremony of the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), Lausanne 2020 gave an update to the IOC EB on its final preparations and milestones. This included the Torch Tour, which is generating excitement across the 26 cantons of Switzerland and included a visit to the Swiss Parliament in Bern earlier this week; and the official song, which was launched yesterday and is entitled “Start Now” – after the slogan of the YOG Lausanne 2020. Key achievements were also highlighted, such as the schools programme that has seen hundreds of thousands of children engaged in the project pre-Games, with this set to continue during Games time. Key constructions such as the Vortex, the Athletes’ Village, have been completed while the Vaudoise Arena is now operational. The Opening Ceremony of the YOG will be on 9 January.