Tokyo to host 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo has won the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
Tokyo has won the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

The Japanese city of Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympic Games, after beating Istanbul and Madrid in the final round of voting in the race to host the XXXII Olympiad.

Renowned Swiss rider Henri Chammartin won dressage gold at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo with Woermann.
Renowned Swiss rider Henri Chammartin won dressage gold at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo with Woermann.

The equestrian events for the Games are to be held on an artificial island built from waste landfill in the Tokyo district of Kōtō. The venue is known as Dream Island – Yumenoshima (夢の島) and was built from the late 1950s as a solution to Tokyo’s garbage problem.

The Island is in the Olympic “Tokyo Bay Zone”, which covers a total of 21 competition venues. There are six venues on Dream Island.

Dream Island has been covered over with a layer of top soil and includes a sports park, a Tropical Greenhouse Dome, the Fukuryū Maru Memorial Museum, a large-scale yacht marina, waste disposal and incinerating facilities.

At one time the island was home of the Daigo Fukuryū Maru, a fishing boat which had been exposed to nuclear fallout during the Bikini Atoll test. The boat was sold to a scrap dealer and abandoned on the island  in the 1960s after radiation levels were considered safe.

Tokyo, which also bid for the 2016 Games, last hosted the Olympics in 1964. In the final round of voting during the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires on Saturday, Tokyo received 60 votes to Istanbul’s 36, with Madrid having been eliminated in the first round after losing a tie-breaker with Istanbul.

tokyo-2020“Congratulations to the city of Tokyo on its election as host of the 2020 Olympic Games,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge, whose 12-year term in office comes to an end on September 10.

“Tokyo presented a very strong technical bid from the outset – and it needed to in competition with two such high-calibre bids from Istanbul and Madrid.

“All three cities were capable of staging excellent Games in 2020, but in the end it was Tokyo’s bid that resonated the most with the IOC membership, inviting us to “discover tomorrow” by delivering a well-organised and safe Games that will reinforce the Olympic values while demonstrating the benefits of sport to a new generation,” Rogge said.

With the awarding of the Games to Tokyo, the Japanese government says it will double the annual funding for elite sport programmes in all Olympic and Paralympic sports, through the Japan Sports Council.

Tokyo 2020 states that the majority of athletes would be within 20 minutes of their competition venue. The longest travel times would concern the venues for shooting and golf which would be 40 and 55 minutes respectively from the Village.

Organisers also confirmed that grooms and vets would be accommodated at the equestrian venue.

The Tokyo Bay Zone will be accessed by a combination of metro, suburban rail and bus shuttle services.

Japan, a parliamentary democracy, has a population of about 128 million, with 13 million in the city of
Tokyo and 36 million in the greater Tokyo area.

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