Tokyo 2020: 30,000 glowing lanterns fan Olympic Fever for the bid and London 2012
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
July 17 – Tokyo Bay was ablaze with Olympic spirit hopes as 30,000 lanterns showed the city’s support for the 2020 summer Games bid campaign.
The annual Lantern by the Bay Festival took place at Odaiba Marine Park which is the proposed site for the triathlon and marathon swimming competitions in the bid plan. The outline of the Olympic rings rallied the support in the city and was symbolic of the “Japanese people's passion for promoting sport and their desire to host Games of excellence, excitement and respect” said the bid in a statement.
A lantern lighting ceremony was held led by Japanese Olympic swimming champion Ai Shibata, the Athens 2004 women's 800-metre freestyle gold medallist, bringing the rings to life on the beach.
Tokyo hopes to host a global festival Games dedicated to sport, culture and world peace. The bid is also working as a catalyst to raise the spirits of the earthquake hit areas and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) has been endeavoring with extensive sports programs in these areas.
With the start of the Olympic Games in London in just about 2 weeks the lantern display helped to fan the Olympic fever as the nation gets ready to cheer on the team.
Tokyo is competing against Istanbul and Madrid to host the 2020 summer Olympics. The final vote will take place in Buenos Aires on September 7th of 2013.
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