POSTED: January 12th 2015

Tokyo 2020: Youth and athletes mark 2020 days to the Olympics opening ceremony

700 people made a formation for 2020 / Tokyo 2020 Ryo ICHIKAWA
700 people made a formation for 2020 / Tokyo 2020 Ryo ICHIKAWA

MARISSA FLANDERS / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) A giant '2020' was formed today by 20-year-olds, to launch a 2020 day countdown till the XXXII Olympiad, to be held in Tokyo. Hundreds of excited spectators came together to watch this historic event take place.

To mark this special day, Olympians, athletes, and hundreds of young people, all 20-year-olds, gathered in front of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee Headquarters. Events were held in the plaza area in front of the headquarters. Also, young people gathered in the areas of the Tohoku region, which was affected by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

One of the Olympians in attendance was Kosuke Hagino, who won a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He commented, “We are extremely thankful that so many young 20-year-olds turned up to show their support, even though it was quite cold today. I really felt that there is an increasing interest in and expectations towards the 2020 Games. I would love to be able repay everyone’s support by winning a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."

Hagino took part in a public discussion session and was joined by gymnast Akiho Sato, para-cyclist Miho Fujii, and swimmers Akihiro Yamaguchi and Daiya Seto.

In addition, Tokyo 2020's latest milestone happens to coincide with the Coming of Age Day in Japan. The Seijin no Hi or Coming of Age Day is a Japanese public holiday, which was established in 1948. It is a day for the country to celebrate those who, in the past year, have turned 21 and have officially reached the age of majority. On the second Monday of January each year, municipal authorities across Japan organize festivities and gatherings to celebrate this occasion. Young females usually dress in traditional Japanese kimonos for this occasion.

Koji Murofushi, the Tokyo 2020 Sports Director stated, “It is a fantastic coincidence that this milestone happens to be on Coming of Age Day in Japan. 2020 days to go to Tokyo 2020 celebrated with 20-year-olds; that is a lot of young adults representing a wealth of hopes, dreams and expectations towards the Games. Tokyo 2020 is about inspiring young people through sport, and today we were delighted to have the opportunity to broaden the network of young people eagerly looking forward to the Opening Ceremony in 2020 days’ time."

The disaster affected areas of Tohoku, Coming of Age Day ceremonies were held with a special Olympic flavor. At the Morioka City, Iwate prefecture celebrations were attended by Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata along with Paralympians Aki Taguchi and Shinji Negi. While the festivities in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi prefecture welcomed Paralympic medalist Junichi Kawai and London 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Satoshi Shimizu. Paralympian Yusuke Hatsuse and Olympian Fumie Suguri took part in the events at Minamisoma City, Fukushima prefecture.

**MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog:

Keywords · Tokyo 2020 · Olympic · Olympic Games

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