The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, are now upon us. In fact, the opening ceremony of what will be the most particular Games in history will take place on Friday 23 July, without an audience and with exceptional measures against covid. Tokyo will host the summer games for the second time: the first time, dates back to 1964 and was the debut of the Olympics in an Asian country. Here are 10 things to know about the Games.
1) The goal of Green Olympics – The ambition is to give life to the first zero impact Games. From the torch (made with aluminum to the temporary housing built for the 2011 earthquake), to the medals (made from the scraps of mobile phones) passing to the podiums (in plastic) and to the cardboard beds: everything is in recycled material. And Toyota (Olympic sponsor) has made 3,700 electric vehicles available for the transport of athletes.
2) New sports in competition – There will be 5 new sports compared to Rio 2016. In fact, the male baseball-female softball duo is back (absent since 2008), and 4 new sports that are very popular with young people: surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing and karate.
3) The great excluded – In Tokyo there will be no Russia, accused of irregularities in doping controls and banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency from all competitions until 2024. Athletes not involved in the scandal but under the flag of “neutral country” and without hymn.
4) Anti-heat measures – They will also be the hottest Olympics. It was not enough to cover the roads with asphalt capable of reducing temperatures: for the safety of the athletes, the marathon will be run in Sapporo, on the northernmost island of Japan (Hokkaido). And the winner will not cross the finish line in the Olympic stadium. While road cycling will take place near Mount Fuji.
5) The first postponement in history – This is the first time in history that the Olympics have been postponed. So, even if the Tokyo Games will actually be in the summer of 2021, their name will be considered Tokyo 2020. In fact, both the International Olympic Committee and the organizers have agreed to keep the 2020 brand also for marketing and the many investments on signs and signs with that logo.
6) It logo – The Tokyo 2020 logo is a ‘Harmonized Checkered Emblem’ made from a circular blue checkered pattern that reads the “Tokyo 2020” branding and classic Olympic rings. Revealed in 2016 and created by Japanese artist Asao Tokolo, this checkered pattern called ichimatsu moyo dates back to the Edo period and is more than 250 years old.
7) The mascots – They are Miraitowa (Olympics) and Someity (Paralympics) created by Ryo Taniguchi. The first is a design with a blue chess pattern, whose message represents both ancient tradition and the gaze on innovation. The name Miraitowa is the union of two Japanese words: mirai (future) and towa (eternity). Someity is also checkered, and its colors were inspired by cherry blossoms.
8) The medals – The medals in Tokyo are made with material from recycled cell phones and other electronic devices. Even in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, the medals were made from recycled electronics materials. The back of the medals of these Games have the Tokyo 2020 mark, while the front features the effigy of Nike – the Greek goddess of victory.
9) The Olympic Village – It will be able to accommodate up to approximately 18,000 athletes and professionals who will live in the 21 buildings covering an area of 44 hectares located in Tokyo Bay on the Harumi waterfront, about six kilometers from the National Stadium. The athletes were asked to arrive no earlier than five days after the competition and to leave no later than two days after the conclusion of the event. According to the IOC, about 85% of the participants arriving in the village will have been vaccinated against covid.
10) Gender equality – Tokyo 2020 takes another step forward compared to previous editions, introducing youth and urban innovations and significantly improving gender equality. The Japanese Olympic Games will see a greater participation of female athletes. To be precise, the one we are about to attend will be the most gender balanced edition in the history of the Olympics, with a participation of women corresponding to 48.8%.