Tokyo, Japan: The Location for the 2020 Summer Olympic

One of the many sports events that people wait for is the Olympics. Held every four years, it is among the biggest sports events in the world. Athletes train for years and aspire to be part of the Olympics as this signifies that one is good enough to compete with the best bets of other countries that are participating in the event. Various countries from all over the world train their best athletes just for this event. The goal is to win the gold medal to bring glory to one’s home country. As for the location of the event, it varies every four years, with several countries competing to be the primary location for the Olympics.

The Bids for the 2020 Summer Olympics

A total of six bids were originally submitted for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Some cities that proposed bidding but did not actually bid include Budapest in Hungary and Lisbon in Portugal. On the other hand, one of the bids that were withdrawn was from Rome. After a long process of deciding which country would be the location for the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo, Japan emerged as the winner. Hence, Tokyo is officially the host city for the Olympics in the year 2020, as elected at the 125th IOC Session held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the 7th of September in the year 2013.

The Olympic bidding process is a long one with several steps and criteria to consider. It starts with the application of a city to be submitted to the International Olympic Committee or the IOC by its National Olympic Committee or the NOC. The bidding process is ruled under the Olympic Charter, as stated in Rule 34 of Chapter 5. The bidding process then ends with the members of the IOC electing the host city during an ordinary session.

The bidding process is comprised of two phases, which has always been the case since the year 1999. The first phase starts right after the deadline of the bid submission. The cities applying for the bidding process, called the “applicant cities,” are required to fill out a questionnaire that contains questions in reference to the important aspects that would lead to a successful Games organization. This would enable the IOC to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, and capacity of the city in terms of hosting plans.

After submission, a detailed study would be done on the questions and answers submitted and reports ensued. After which, cities qualified would be selected by the Executive Board of the IOC to move on to the next phase.

On to the second phase, the applicant cities that qualified would now be called “candidate cities.” The second phase is considered the true candidate stage wherein the candidate cities are to answer another set of questionnaire, only this time it would be a more detailed and extended version. After submission, these candidature files are to be reviewed by the IOC Evaluation Commission. The IOC Evaluation Commission is a group comprised of members of the IOC, NOCs, the International Paralympic Committee, representatives of international sports federations, athletes, and global experts from different fields.

The Inspection and Decision Process for the 2020 Games

The IOC Evaluation Commission is headed and chaired by Sir Craig Reedie. Inspection visits that would last four days would then be made by the members of the Evaluation Committee on each candidate city. This inspection would include checking of the proposed venues and briefing about the details of the themes as discussed in the candidature file. The results of these inspections would then be communicated by the Evaluation Commission to the members of the IOC a month prior to the IOC election.

The IOC election session would be held in a country that did not apply to host the Olympics. This is probably so as to avoid bias and to keep the results secret before the session. Each assembled active member of the IOC has one vote to elect the host city that they want for the Olympics. This shall not include the honorary and honor members of the IOC. So as to further avoid bias, members of the IOC that come from a country with a candidate city cannot take part in the voting process.

Consecutive rounds of voting are conducted until one bid attains an absolute majority of votes from the members of the IOC. If this does not occur in the first round, elimination of the bid with the least votes would be done to hasten the process and another voting round ensues. Should there be a tie for the fewest number of votes, a special runoff vote would then take place. The winner of this runoff would then be able to proceed to the next round.

The bid eliminated in every round would be announced. Once the winning host city has been announced, the successful bid delegation would sign “Host City Contract” together with the IOC. This signifies the delegation of responsibilities of the Games organization to the winning host city and the corresponding NOC.  For the 2020 Summer Olympics, the voting session was held on the 7th of September in the year 2013 at the 125th IOC Session located at the Buenos Aires Hilton situated in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The system used for voting was an exhaustive ballot system. No candidate city won more than 50 percent of the votes during the first round but both Istanbul and Madrid were tied for second place. Naturally, a run-off vote was conducted and Istanbul emerged the winner from this. As for the final vote, the cities of Tokyo and Istanbul battled for the winning place and Tokyo won by 60 votes to Istanbul’s 36 votes.

On the 16th of July in the year 2011, the Japanese Olympic Committee chose Tokyo to be the bidding city of Japan for the 2020 Games and it has been proven that it was the right choice. The last time that the Olympics was held in Tokyo was in the year 1964 for the Summer Olympics. The other times that the Olympics was held in Japan was in the year 1972 in Sapporo and in the year 1998 in Nagano, both for the Winter Olympics.

Preparing for the 2020 Summer Olympic

Officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, the 2020 Summer Olympics is more commonly called Tokyo 2020, as it would be held in Tokyo, Japan. The logo for Tokyo 2020 can be seen above. The official emblem was introduced last April of 2016. The planned schedule for this major event is to open on the 24th of July and close on the 9th of August in the year 2020. The motto of this international sports event is “Discover Tomorrow” or “Ashita o Tsukamo” in Japanese. There are 207 nations expected to participate while the athletes participating is estimated to be more than 12,000. There would be 324 events in 33 sports. The stadium that would be used for the opening and closing ceremonies is the New National Stadium.

An amount of 400 billion Japanese yen in funds, which is equivalent to more than 3 billion U.S. dollars, was set aside by the Tokyo metropolitan government to cover the costs of preparing for and hosting the Games. An increase in the slot capacity of both the Narita International Airport and the Haneda Airport is also being considered by the Japanese government as more human traffic is expected during the Games. A way to accomplish this is by loosening up the restrictions in the airspace.

Another development being planned for the Games is a new railway line that would connect Haneda Airport and Narita International Airport via an expansion of Tokyo Station. This would enable travelers to cut their travel time from Tokyo Station to Haneda Airport by 12 minutes, from 30 minutes to 18 minutes. It would also cut the travel time from Tokyo Station to Narita International Airport by 19 minutes, from 55 minutes to 36 minutes. This new railway line is estimated to cost 400 billion Japanese yen but would be privately funded by partner investors.

A new line near Tamachi traveling to Haneda Airport is also being planned by the East Japan Railway Company, also known as East JR. Acceleration of the construction of the infrastructures via funding is also being planned. These three are the Central Circular Route, Tokyo Gaikan Expressway, and Ken-O Expressway. Other primary expressways in the area are also being planned to refurbish. An extension of the Yurikamome automated transit line is also being planned. Its current terminal located at Toyosu Station is to extend to a new terminal to be located at Kachidoki Station, which shall pass the location of the Olympic Village. However, this extension would still not have sufficient capacity to serve the primary events in the area of Odaiba on its own.

Headed by former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, the Organizing Committee for Tokyo 2020 has a lot more plans for the Games in order to make it not just organized but also spectacular for all the world to see in the year 2020. Tamayo Marukawa, the Olympic and Paralympic Minister, is tasked to oversee the preparations for the Tokyo 2020 on behalf of the government of Japan.

The Different Locations for the 2020 Summer Olympics

By Los688 (English: Taken by Los688 日本語: Los688が撮影。) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There are basically two main zones for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The first zone is called the Heritage Zone. Located northwest of the Olympic Village, there would be seven venues situated within the borders of Tokyo’s central business area. A number of these venues were also utilized for the Summer Olympics back in the year 1964. The opening and closing ceremonies would be held in the New National Stadium. The six other venues are Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Nippon Budokan, Tokyo International Forum, Imperial Palace Garden, and Kokugikan Arena.

The second zone is called the Tokyo Bay Zone. Comprised of 20 locations, the Tokyo Bay Zone is located in the vicinity of, as the name suggests, Tokyo Bay. Situated southeast of the Olympic Village, these 20 venues are predominantly located on Ariake, Odaiba, and other artificial islands surrounding the area. The 20 venues include Kasai Rinkai Park, Oi Seaside Park, Olympic Aquatics Centre, Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center, Yumenoshima Stadium, Ariake Arena, Olympic BMX Course, Olympic Gymnastic Centre, Ariake Coliseum, Odaiba Marine Park, Shiokaze Park, Central Breakwater, Wakasu Golf Links, and Aomi Urban Sports Venue.

Other venues that are more than 8 kilometers, which is equivalent to 5 miles, far from the Olympic Village are Camp Asaka, Musashino Forest Sport Centre, Ajinomoto Stadium, Saitama Super Arena, Enoshima, Makuhari Messe, Baji Koen, Izu Velodrome, Japan Cycle Sports Center, Yokohama Stadium, and Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium. As for the venues for football, they include International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama, Saitama Stadium in Saitama, Miyagi Stadium in Sendai, Tokyo Stadium in Tokyo, and Sapporo Dome in Sapporo. Non-competition venues include Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Harumi Futo, and Tokyo Big Sight.

Favorite Sports and Schedule

The IOC Executive Board approved the official program for the 2020 Summer Olympics on the 9th of June in the year 2017. Tokyo 2020 will feature 321 events in 32 sports. Five new sports will be introduced in Tokyo while 15 new events will be introduced within current sports. These events include freestyle BMX and Madison cycling, 3-on-3 basketball, and other mixed events in various sports. Various sports in the Games include aquatics, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, cycling, equestrian, field hockey, gymnastics, karate, modern pentathlon, sailing, surfing, table tennis, and wrestling to name a few.

The opening ceremony shall be held on the 24th of July in the year 2020 while the closing ceremony shall be held on the 9th of August of the same year. Fans are going to start getting excited in the months of November, December, and January of 2019 as it would only be months away from the Games. Some athletes would begin flying in as early as March to train in Japan. The tickets for the opening ceremony will range from 25,000 yen to 150,000 yen. There is a maximum limit of 30,000 yen for the most expensive tickets for the final of popular games.

These popular games include swimming and athletics. All the tickets for the Olympics will have an average price of 7,700 yen.60 percent of the tickets will be sold at a price of about 4,000 yen or even less. 40,000 outlets all over Japan will be selling tickets for the Olympics. People interested may also opt to purchase tickets online. Suffice it to say, watching the Games live would definitely be an extraordinary experience.