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Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay: Route, schedule, list of torchbearers, and how to watch

An athlete carries the Olympic Torch during the Flame Handover Ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics in March 2020, in Athens, Greece
An athlete carries the Olympic Torch during the Flame Handover Ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics in March 2020, in Athens, Greece
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 23 Mar 2021
News

The Tokyo Olympic Torch was lit in Athens, Greece, in March 2020, following which it was transported to the Miyagi Prefecture in Japan via a special jet.

With the Olympic Torch Relay set to begin on March 25, here are the details of the route, the torchbearers, and how to watch the event online.


What will be the designated route of the Olympic Torch Relay?

The Olympic Torch Relay for the Tokyo Games kicks off from the J-Village National Training Centre in the Fukushima Prefecture on March 25, 2021.

From Fukushima, the torch relay will travel to each of the 47 prefectures in Japan, culminating in Tokyo on July 21. It will then reach the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium on July 23.

In order to adhere to health and safety guidelines, the opening ceremony of the relay will see a much lesser number of performers this time around.

One can read about the entire Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay and its schedule here.


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How can one watch the Olympic Torch Relay online?

The Olympic Torch Relay will be streamed live on the Tokyo 2020 website throughout its 121-day journey from Fukushima to Tokyo.

The route of the Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay is also being projected on Google Earth Voyager. This enables anyone to follow the journey of the Olympic Torch Relay through all the 47 prefectures of Japan.


Who are the torchbearers for the Tokyo Olympics Torch Relay?

Homara Sawa, of Japan, lifts the trophy after the FIFA Women
Homara Sawa, of Japan, lifts the trophy after the FIFA Women's World Cup Final in July 2011 in Germany

The Japanese women's football team that won the World Cup in 2011 will be the first torchbearers for the Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay.

The torchbearers have been carefully handpicked, with one coming from each of the 47 prefectures in Japan.

Paralympian athlete Yano Shigeki, singer Rika Takamori 'Riu', surfer and lifeguard Sato Hiroshi, Chinese woman Hou Jiayi, and Japanese-Brazilian Noguchi Bruna are among those who have been selected as the torchbearers for the Tokyo Olympics.

You can read more about all the Olympic torchbearers here.


How is the Olympic torch lit?

With the Torch Relay coming up soon, it is a good time to learn more about its history.

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The Olympic torch is lit from the sun's rays by using parabolic mirrors. This practice has been in use since the Ancient Olympic Games.

This method is the only way to light the flame, signifying the purity of the flame and the Games it is associated with.

One can read more on the story behind the Olympic torch here.


The design of the Tokyo Olympics torch

Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Official Ambassador Tadahiro Nomura with the Olympic Games torch in June 2019 in Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Official Ambassador Tadahiro Nomura with the Olympic Games torch in June 2019 in Tokyo, Japan

The torch being used for the upcoming relay has been produced from metal recycled from temporary houses that were built in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

Fukushima had suffered the most from the devastating earthquake. The organizers intend to highlight the recovery of some of the badly-affected areas, with 'Hope Lights Our Way' being their motto.

Published 23 Mar 2021, 16:31 IST
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