Fifty-six years after having organised the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from 24 July to 9 August 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organisers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative ever organised, and will rest on three fundamental principles to transform the world: striving for your personal best (achieving your personal best); accepting one another (unity in diversity); and passing on a legacy for the future (connecting to tomorrow)”.
Aligning with the reforms advocated by Olympic Agenda 2020, the Tokyo Games will use as many existing competition venues as possible, namely those built for the Games in 1964, such as the prestigious Nippon Budokkan for judo, the Baji Koen Park for equestrian events, and the Yoyogi National Gymnasium for handball. The Tokyo National Stadium, where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and athletics competitions will be staged, will be completely revamped and replaced by a new arena.
Japan has been an Olympic land since the Summer Games of 1964, which were the first to be staged in Asia. In 2020, the country will host its fourth Games, if we include the Winter Games of 1972 in Sapporo and of 1998 in Nagano.
On September 7, 2013, the International Olympic Committee awarded the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2020 to Tokyo, which was chosen over fellow Candidate Cities Istanbul and Madrid after two rounds of voting during the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires.
Tokyo received 60 votes to Istanbul’s 36 in the final round, with Madrid having been eliminated in the first round after losing a tie-breaker with Istanbul. Tokyo, which also bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, previously hosted the Games in 1964.
“Congratulations to the city of Tokyo on its election as host of the 2020 Olympic Games,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge.. “Tokyo presented a very strong technical bid from the outset – and it needed to in competition with two such high-calibre bids from Istanbul and Madrid. All three cities were capable of staging excellent Games in 2020, but in the end it was Tokyo’s bid that resonated the most with the IOC membership, inviting us to “discover tomorrow” by delivering a well-organised and safe Games that will reinforce the Olympic values while demonstrating the benefits of sport to a new generation.”
Round 1 tie-breaker
The Olympic mascot is called Miraitowa, which is derived from the Japanese words mirai (future) and towa (eternity). This name was chosen to promote a future full of eternal hope in the hearts of people all over the world.
Illustration by Taisei Corporation, Azusa Sekkei, Kengo Kuma and Associates
As the Olympic Games make their way back to Tokyo for the first time since 1964, the Tokyo 2020 Sports programme features several innovations. In addition to the 28 sports on the Olympic Programme, five additional sports have been added at the request of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee: Baseball/Softball, Karate, Skateboarding, Sport climbing and Surfing. This will add to the Games youth and urban appeal. Meanwhile, with 165 events for men, 156 for women and 18 mixed or open events, Tokyo is also on track to be the most gender equal Olympic Games yet with a predicted 48.2% participation by women.