In a significant milestone on the road towards the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, on 25 November the Japanese capital unveiled the first of eight new permanent venues that are being built for the Games.
The opening of the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza, which will host badminton and the fencing component of the modern pentathlon, as well as the wheelchair basketball at the Paralympic Games, was hailed by Tokyo’s Governor Yuriko Koike as an indication that great strides are being made with just under three years to go until the Games get underway.
“We are making real progress in our preparations," said Koike. “We have passed the 1,000-days-to-go mark and [...] intend to build on this momentum and continue the hard work.”
Meanwhile, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said that the opening of the first permanent venue marked a significant watershed moment in the preparations for the Games.
“I am delighted that this first new permanent venue has been delivered and inaugurated in such an early phase of the Games life cycle," said Muto.
“The Organising Committee's activities have switched from the planning phase to the delivery phase, and our eyes are now firmly on the opening date of the Games.
“Tokyo 2020 will fulfil its promise and deliver a safe and successful Games that will leave a lasting legacy and benefits for everyone.”
The main arena at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza boasts a seating capacity of over 10,000, and includes a swimming pool, a gym, a multi-use sports area and two fitness studios, all of which will be available for use by the general public, making an important contribution to the legacy of the 2020 Games.
It has also been designed with sustainability and minimal environmental impact at the fore. Solar panels on the roof and other state-of-the-art technology will help reduce the facility’s carbon footprint. Moreover, the design is firmly rooted in the Tokyo 2020 Accessibility Guidelines, with a view to making the facility accessible to all, including the elderly, families with young children, and people with disabilities, including those accompanied by guide dogs.
The main arena has designated areas for wheelchairs, which have been designed in such a way that there is enough height difference between the rows of seating to ensure that those in wheelchairs can see clearly, even if spectators in front of them stand up.
Tokyo 2020 will have a total of 39 venues, including 23 existing sites and eight temporary facilities, in addition to the eight new permanent ones.