POSTED: January 10th 2013

Tokyo 2020: Lessons from London 2012 helped us 'Discover Tomorrow'

The Tokyo 2020 bid team back in London to launch the bid to the international press / Tokyo 2020
The Tokyo 2020 bid team back in London to launch the bid to the international press / Tokyo 2020

JOHN GOODBODY / Sports Features Communications

January 10 - Tokyo today began its international campaign to promote its bid to stage the 2020 Olympics by emphasising its slogan of ‘Discover Tomorrow’.  The Japanese capital, the only one of the three candidate cities to have hosted the Olympics before, is probably regarded as the front-runner in the contest to get the Games but is well aware that the early favourites for 2012 and 2016 were eventually not awarded the world’s biggest sports event.

Together with its rivals, Istanbul and Madrid, Tokyo this week delivered its bid book to the International Olympic Committee head-quarters in Lausanne and then flew to London to promote its vision for the Games.   

Tsunekazu Takeda, IOC member and President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, highlighted the similarities between London and Tokyo, saying: ”London 2012 gave us an additional lesson in how to host the event. Seb Coe and his team demonstrated the importance of preparation and attention to detail. They showed how early, efficient delivery meant that they had time to focus on the vital ‘extra’ elements that take any Games from good to great.

“I am talking about things like city dressing, cultural events and, of course the wonderful Games Makers. Now, we believe we have plans that will see Tokyo stage Games that will also inspire a generation. We will host a dynamic celebration, fuelled by the amazing passion of Japanese sports fans and that will ignite the imagination of the entire world.”   

The three key words for the bid are: delivery, celebration and innovation. In delivery, Tokyo will provide guaranteed quality and maximum benefits because of its financial strength –Japan has the third biggest economy in the world. In celebration, Tokyo will host a party in a city that with its surrounds has a population of 35 million, while in innovation, the organisers say they will take the Games to the capital of the future because the city continually sets trends in everything from fashion to technology.

Although there is much building of venues to be done, nevertheless Tokyo has much of infrastructure and other necessary facilities in place. It has 160,000 restaurants, 140,000 hotel rooms, a rail network which has 760 stations as well as two international airports, Narita and Haneda and a fleet of 50,000 taxis.

Unlike Madrid, which is relying mainly on existing facilities, Tokyo will transform a large area of the city, renovating part of the waterfront facing Tokyo Bay. Here will be installed the Olympic Village as well as a host of venues including the stadia for cycling, gymnastics and tennis.

Within about six kilometres from the Village, the new Olympic Stadium will be built on the same site as the venue which hosted the main events in 1964, when Tokyo last hosted the Summer Games. There will be a retractable roof, seating for up to 80,000 people.

The stadium will be ready for the 2019 Rugby Union World Cup and will be designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, who were responsible for the London Aquatic Centre. 85 percent of the Tokyo venues will be within eight kilometres of the Olympic and Paralympic Village.     

 In its presentation today, there was a short film featuring the 17 year-old Lynne Hutchison, who was born in Tokyo and was a member of Team GB’s rhythmic gymnastics team in 2012. She said: ”Tokyo 2020 is ready to inspire a generation like London did. Games in Tokyo will be a party.”

The IOC will vote on which city will get the 2020 Games at its Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 7.

Keywords · Tokyo 2020 · London 2012 · Tsunekazu Takeda · Olympic bidding

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