Tokyo 2020: Bid gets a boost as half a million people turned out to cheer Team Japan
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
August 20 - The Tokyo 2020 bid for the summer Games received a special boost of the Olympic Spirit today as an estimated 500,000 people took to the streets for Japan’s first ever parade of Olympians.
Only a week after the London 2012 flame was extinguished the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) organized the parade for the 71 medallists that earned a record-breaking 7 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze for a total of 38 medals (counting teams as one).
The parade took place in the capital's world-famous Ginza district, and was a real show of the enthusiasm for Japanese sports and the hope that the bid will bring the 2020 summer Games back to Tokyo. The Ginza area is Tokyo’s most famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment district and is a trendy destination in the city where you can find centuries-old establishments side by side with boutiques.
Tsunekazu Takeda, president of JOC president and the bid, said, "The heroes' parade was an extraordinary display of Japan's passion and the remarkable power of sport to unite and inspire. Japan is an incredible sporting nation and holds its athletes - Olympians in particular - in very high esteem.
“The Japanese Olympic Team's unprecedented performance in London makes us even more determined to deliver a dynamic celebration in the heart of the world's most forward-thinking city."
Several sports fans expressed their excitement, Sayori Okazaki (15), who is a Kohei Uchimura Fan, said, "The parade was amazing! I watched the entire Olympics, even when it was past midnight! I would love for Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympics! I will support the Games in any way I can!”
Shozan Oota (18), added, "This parade was wonderful with so many people! I didn't miss a single minute of the London Olympic Games.
“It will be awesome if Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympics. I'm a track runner myself so I'll try my best to compete in 2020!"
The Tokyo 2020 bid proposal was idealized as a mixture of Japanese culture twinned with by the latest trends and technologies in order to promote Olympism and wellness to modern society.
Tokyo is running against Istanbul and Madrid to host the summer Games of 2020. The final decision will be voted in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 7th, 2013.
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