The countdown to Tokyo 2020 reached a significant milestone on 28 October, which marks the 1,000-days-to-go point before the start of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad.
The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) is celebrating the milestone with a series of events that will run through to 29 November.
The programme kicked off with the "Tokyo 2020 Olympic Countdown – 1,000 Days to Go" event in the Japanese capital on 28 October, which featured a parade, a special stage event attended by Olympic athletes and dignitaries including Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and demonstrations and public participation sessions of three sports – 3x3 basketball, skateboarding and BMX freestyle - which will be featuring at Tokyo 2020.
"The more people have the opportunity to participate and feel involved during the lead-up to the Games, the stronger Tokyo 2020's legacy will be," said Tokyo 2020 Spokesperson Masa Takaya. "We want the 2020 Games to inspire new generations to practise sport more and to live by the Olympic and Paralympic values. Our various programmes have allowed us to engage with five million people already and we will intensify our efforts over the next 1,000 days."
Olympic spirit illuminates Tokyo
To further mark the 1,000-day milestone, the landmark Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree, as well as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Shinjuku were all set to be specially illuminated in the evening of 28 October. In addition, Tokyo's historic Nihonbashi district and metro stations across the capital were decorated with new Tokyo 2020 graphics and images of sporting events.
Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) President and IOC Member, Tsunekazu Takeda promised that Tokyo was on track to deliver a Games that would have a huge positive impact both at home and beyond.
"The Olympic Games has the power to bring dreams to children and cultivate a peaceful society. The success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is necessary so that sport can contribute to foster a better society and world peace," commented the JOC President.
"As Tokyo 2020 approaches in 1000 days, the Japanese Olympic Committee, as host NOC, will become a role model for the Japanese sports world and will make its best effort to become one of the leading countries in the Olympic Family. Together with Tokyo 2020, the JOC will continue to unite all stakeholders as an "All-Japan" framework for the success of Tokyo 2020."
First new venue already complete
The Tokyo 2020 organisers also took the opportunity to reveal some key facts and figures that underline the progress being made towards delivery of the next Olympic Summer Games, which will take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020.
According to the Local Organising Committee, one of the eight new permanent venues that will be used during the 2020 Games has already been completed. The venue in question is Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, which will host the badminton and modern pentathlon fencing competitions. The remaining seven new permanent venues are all due to be completed between March and December 2019. Tokyo 2020 will also make use of 23 existing sites and eight temporary venues.
The decision to use so many existing venues – all of which are currently undergoing renovation work – will help minimise construction costs and contribute to the sustainable legacy of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Some 11,090 athletes representing 206 National Olympic Committees are expected to attend the next Olympic Summer Games. In preparation, Tokyo 2020 has already hosted 30 National Olympic Committee (NOC) visits and organised two open days, which were attended by representatives from 33 NOCs.
Meanwhile, the Tokyo 2020 Participation Programme continues apace, with more than 14,000 events having now been held across its eight categories (sport and health, urban planning, sustainability, cultural Olympiad, education, economy and technology, recovery, and nationwide benefits), and 4,381 schools having registered to join its education programme.
Medal Project strikes a chord
According to the Organising Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project is also proving a big success. Under this initiative, the 339 sets of medals to be awarded at the Olympic Summer Games will be made from precious metal recycled from discarded smartphones, digital cameras, video game consoles and laptops.
Tokyo 2020 began collecting unwanted electronic devices across Japan in April this year, with 740,000 smartphones and 251 tons of disused items have been taken in so far. The idea behind the collection programme, which ends in spring 2019, is to raise public awareness of the importance of sustainability and to offer everyone the chance to play their part in the Games' preparations.
As for the mascot design competition, 2,042 entries have been submitted from across Japan. The winner will be announced in March next year, following a vote by 6.5 million children at every elementary school in the country.
In terms of marketing, the domestic sponsorship programme has generated record revenue, while the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 have attracted 43 partners in total to date: 15 Gold Partners and 28 Official Partners. A third domestic partnership category entitled 'Tokyo 2020 Official Supporters' will be rolled out in January 2018.
On social media, meanwhile,Tokyo 2020 has now attracted more than one million fans across its official platforms on Facebook, Instagram, LINE, Twitter (English and Japanese versions) and YouTube.
And finally, the Tokyo 2020 merchandise catalogue now boasts a grand total of 390 items.