Tokyo, Japan, 24th July to 9th August 2020
Tokyo is no stranger to the Summer Olympics, having previously hosted the Games in 1964. As the first Olympics held in Asia, the 1964 Games welcomed 163 events in 19 sports, in 25 different disciplines, and saw Japan come third in the medal total behind the United States and the Soviet Union.
Roll forward 56 years, and the seasoned hosts will be marking the return of the Summer Olympics, now featuring 339 events in 33 sports and 50 disciplines, becoming the only Asian city to host the Olympics twice.
Whilst still a host city candidate, Japan intensified its bid by lighting up its infamous Tokyo Tower, demonstrating the Nation’s love of colour and light, with the colours of the Olympic Rings and the numbers ‘2020’, and has since lit up numerous other towers around the city to celebrate key milestones in the countdown to the Games.
Bidding for the 29th edition of the Games saw Japan beat candidate cities Istanbul and Madrid, as well as applicant cities Baku and Doha to the finish line; winning with 60 votes to 36, and only after a head-to-head with Istanbul.
With 400 billion Japanese yen ($3.67bn) set aside to cover the cost of hosting the Games, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is funding huge construction and infrastructure projects right across the city. Renovations to existing stadia as well as brand new venues are being added to the line-up. What once was the Olympic Stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies would be held, has been knocked down and is being rebuilt at the cost of 155 billion yen ($1.23bn) and branded as the ‘National Stadium’. The Tokyo Aquatics Centre is also being built and is said to demonstrate impressive architecture and innovative engineering, due to be complete by February 2020.
It’s not just the venues that are getting a spruce up, the Japanese rail-ways will be getting upgraded and local heritage sites that are expected to attract thousands of tourists over the duration of the Games are getting renovated.
Digital technologies including robotics and ticketless entry into events, namely, the very latest facial recognition, are already exciting the technology geeks and terrifying the privacy advocates amongst us. Cutting-edge robots will provide assistant to spectators, including carrying food and drink, providing event information and guiding people to their seats, in another Olympic first. While self-driving taxis will be making a debut appearance transporting athletes and tourists around the city and between venues.
Tokyo 2020’s organising committee is committed to actively involving local communities in the preparations of Tokyo 2020 Games, the medals project is no acceptation. Precious metals such as gold, silver and bronze are being recovered and recycled from discarded e-waste such as mobile phones, old tablets, laptops and gadgets, and are being forged into Olympic Medals as a statement of the Games sustainability.
On March 19th 2019, the torch and torch relay logo were unveiled. The torch and its emblem will feature strongly in the build-up to the event throughout Japan, and bears the motif of a cherry blossom, Japan’s best-loved and most familiar flower. Using the same aluminium extrusion technology as used in the manufacturing process of the famous Japan bullet trains, the Torch is constructed from aluminium waste from temporary housing built in the aftermath of Fukushima Earthquake.
Cellhire is going for gold
With just over a year to go until Tokyo 2020 begins, and plenty of recce travel already taking place, Cellhire advises journalists, athletes and fans to plan ahead and save on mobile data costs when in Japan by ordering prior to travel.
With offices in the UK, USA, France, Germany, Switzerland and Japan, attendees, including TV and radio broadcasters, from all over the world can receive SIM cards, smartphones, mobile hotspots and other value-added telecoms and services ahead of time. The Japan office is also on hand, post departure, with local, on-ground support, next day delivery in parts of Japan and online support, which will guarantee excellent customer response times and help minimise potential “bill-shock”.