One of the world's most famous sporting event, the Summer Olympics, will kick off in the capital city of Japan, Tokyo as its gets ready to host the multi-sporting extravaganza event,
The world's best athletes will amke their way to Tokyo as the action kicks off from the 24th of July, 2020 till the end of the events on 9th August, 2020. Some of the sports will have their preliminary rounds from 22nd August as well.
This is the second time in the history of the Summer Olympics that Tokyo has been chosen as the host city of the Games, the first being back in 1964 thereby becoming the first Asian city to host the Summer Olympics for two times.
Also Read: Tokyo Olympics 2020 Schedule
The Venue - National Stadium
The central venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is the New National Stadium which is a multi purpose sports facility located in Kasumigaoka, Tokyo. The stadium will serve as the main stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the major arena for the track and field events.
The New National Stadium was built after the demolition of the old stadium at the same spot in May 2015 setting the stage for the creation of the current venue.
The stadium underwent a design change from the original concept after the Japanese government deemed it financially unviable at the initial cost. Architect Kengo Kuma worked with Taisei Corporation to build the stadium after the necessary approvals at an estimated cost of $1.43 billion.
The Stadium is well equipped to tackle the heat around the Tokyo region during the Summer Olympics with proper ventilation and design. It has a capacity of 68,000 for the Olympics which can be further expanded to 80,000.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inaugurated the stadium formally earlier this month and a small ceremony followed by multiple Olympic champion Usain Bolt running at the track in the National Stadium. The first piece of competitive action at the National Stadium will be the 2019 Emperor Cup's final to be held on January 1st, 2020.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Medals
One of the most visible items during the Olympics are the medals, which are given out to the winning athletes in the various sporting disciplines - Gold, Silver and Bronze.
The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games made an announcement of the electronics recycling program, that saw them initiate a collection drive of massive numbers of small electronic devices such as used mobile phones. It meant that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics became the first edition of the Summer Olympics to have the involvement of the host city population for the manufacturing of the medals which used recycled metals in their core.
An approximate number of 5,000 medals in total have been produced from the collected electronic devices from people from all around the nation of Japan. This makes the Tokyo 2020 Olympics contribute to the cause of environmentally friendly and sustainable setting a good example.
The final design of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Games medals was finalized after the Organizing committee launced a nationwide design competition for the general public. The chosen design was submitted by Japanese designer Junichi Kawanishi.
Related links: Tokyo Olympics 2020 medal tally
Official Mascots of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
The official mascots of the Tokyo Summer and Paralympic Games are Miraitowa and Someity, created by Japanese artist Ryo Taniguchi who beat competition from all over the country to have his final designs selected from a field of 2,042 submissions. The competition was held from late 2017 to early 2018 and the selection process involved testing their appeal to school-going children and if it represented the spirit of the Tokyo Olympics.
Miraitowa, the Summer Olympic Games mascot is designed as a combination of Ai (Indigo Blue) Ichimatsu pattern of the Tokyo 2020 Emblem, which is a tribute to the modern innovation and respected tradition of the famed Japanese culture.
The name 'Miraitowa' is derived as a combination of the Japanese word 'Mirai' which means 'Future' and 'Towa' meaning 'Eternity'. The character is described as being very athletic and a strong sense of justice.
Sporting action at the Tokyo 2020 Games
The International Olympic Committee Executive Board has approved the final sporting programme on 9th June, 2017 setting the different sporting disciplines that will be competed in Tokyo next year. The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics will feature a total of 339 events in 33 different sports across a range of 50 disciplines.
Apart from the core Olympic games, the Tokyo edition will witness the introduction of a few new sports that have been added to the Olympic programme to make it more urban and youthful in nature and push for the rise of female participation in the events.
The Tokyo Games will see the debut appearance of the following sports - Skateboarding, Karate, Sport Climbing and Surfing. Some other disciplines to be added to existing sports include 3x3 Basketball, Madison cycling and Freestyle BMX events.
Baseball and Softball make their return to the Olympics fray after their removal from the Olympics programme after 2008.