Tokyo wins right to host 2020 Games
8 September 2013
2020: The Olympic Games in 2020 are returning to Tokyo over half a century after they last hosted the Games in 1964.
IOC members gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, opted for the Japanese capital for the Olympic and Paralympic Games ahead of Istanbul in Turkey.
The third city in the running, Madrid, was eliminated in the first round of voting on a tie-break with Istanbul. There were 97 votes in the second round in total, with Tokyo receiving 60 votes to Istanbul's 36. There was one abstention.
Tokyo was seen as a safe bet by the IOC with Istanbul next door to the civil war in Syria and also hampered by protests at home and a string of positive drug tests amongst its athletes this year.
And Madrid was disadvantaged by the economic woes in Spain.
Tokyo’s only negative was the Fukushima nuclear plant and the fear of radiation following a leak at the plant early this week.
But the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to Buenos Aires to assure the IOC members that Fukushima “poses no problem whatsoever”.
In the final presentation by the bid cities he told the delegates“the contaminated water has been isolated to a 3km radius (of the plant). It is a fact that Japan’s standards for food and water are stringent. There are no health related problems now or in the future”.
“Tokyo is the safest city in the world, now and in 2020. Some may have concerns but the situation is under control, it will never do any damage to Tokyo”.
Tokyo is promising an Athletes Village with spectacular views of the city. They have planned a “very compact Games with all venues within an 8km radius of the Athlete’s Village. Transport will work perfectly and we will have a very good Olympic route for athletes and officials.”
The 2020 bid plan makes heavy use of the legacy from those
Games, using venues from the 1964 Olympics.
A new national stadium will be built for the 2019 Rugby World Cup on the site of the stadium for the 1964 Games. The new arena will host the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as athletics.
A total of 33 venues will be used, 28 within an 8-kilometer radius from the Olympic Village.
Venues are in two zones in Tokyo (the Heritage and Tokyo Bay
zones), five clusters, and further divided into six precincts. Eleven new
venues will be built.
Tokyo’s OCOG budget is projected to be slightly more than $3 billion when the Olympics take place, with a non-OCOG budget of $4.9 billion.
Istanbul has now bid to host the Games on 5 occasions without success. Likewise Madrid has tried and failed three times.
Tokyo 2020 will mean Australian Olympic fans will have two consecutive Games in a similar time zone with Pyeongchang in Korea hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics.
In less than 24 hours at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires the additional sport for 2020 will be voted on with baseball/softball, squash and wrestling in contention.
Follow the action @AUSOlympicTeam and Olympics.com.au
Mike Tancred in Buenos Aires