The Olympic Games are one of the most popular and prestigious international sporting events, attracting thousands of athletes, fans, and journalists. The Games are divided into winter and summer sporting events that are each held every four years, so an Olympic event is held every two years. Both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games are organized by the International Olympics Committee. The most recent Summer Olympics were held in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and featured 11,238 athletes from 207 countries. From just 43 sporting events in 1896, the 2016 Summer Olympics featured a record 306 sporting events. The next Summer Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo, Japan from July 23rd to August 8th, 2021, and are expected to feature 339 sporting events.
Tokyo – Second Time Lucky
Tokyo will be hosting the Summer Olympic Games for the second time in the history of the Games. It successfully organized the sporting event from October 10-24, 1964. The Games of the XVIII Olympiad attracted a total of 5,151 athletes from 93 countries. The athletes took part in 163 sporting events with the United States topping the medal table. The 1964 Summer Olympic Games radically transformed the city and the country at large. Tokyo will become the first Asian city to host the Summer Games twice when it hosts the 2020 Games. Overall, Japan will be hosting the Olympic Games for the fourth time, having previously hosted two Winter Games.
The 2020 Olympic Games
The 33rd edition of the Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo from July 23rd to August 8th, 2021. The Games were postponed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why they are still called the 2020 Games despite taking place in 2021. Tokyo was selected to host the 2020 Games during the 125th IOC session which was held in Buenos Aires on September 7, 2013. The city was chosen over Madrid and Istanbul after two rounds of voting. Tokyo beat Istanbul in the final round of voting by 24 votes. The event is expected to be the most innovative ever organized in the history of the Olympics and is expected to rest on three pillars of transforming the world: unity in diversity, achieving personal excellence, and connecting to tomorrow. Several disciplines within the already existing Olympic sports are expected to be introduced, including madison cycling, freestyle BMX, and 3x3 basketball, on top of five new sports that will be introduced. In total, the athletes will compete in 339 events.
Preparations And Venues
Even before the election of Tokyo as the host city for the 2020 Games, the city had begun preparations for the Games. In 2012, it was confirmed that the National Stadium where the 1964 Summer Olympics were held would be demolished and a new stadium would be constructed. In total, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government set aside over US$3.67 billion to meet the cost of hosting the Games. The organizing committee is chaired by Yoshiro Mori. The Games are expected to be hosted in 33 venues in Tokyo. Of the 33 venues, 28 are within 5 miles of the Olympic Village. The New National Stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies as well as athletics and football finals. Other venues include Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo International Forum, Nippon Budokan, Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, and the Imperial Palace Garden, among others.