Tokyo Olympics – Facts and Figures
On September 7, 2013, the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires chose Tokyo as the host city for the summer Olympics 2020. The game was originally set to take place from July 24 to August 9, 2020. However, it was eventually deferred to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The incident was unique in the history of the Olympic Games. It can be noted that previously, games were canceled but not rescheduled.
For marketing and branding purposes, Tokyo Olympics was branded as Tokyo 2020. To counter the pandemic, a state of emergency in the Greater Tokyo Area was clamped. The sports categories were mostly held closed doors with no spectators allowed. Japan hosted the Olympic Games for the fourth time. Tokyo is Asia’s first city to host the Summer Olympics twice (1964 and 2020).
Impact of COVID-19
Concerns were raised in January 2020 regarding the possible impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on both Olympic athletes and attendees. Tokyo organizers asserted that the spread of the virus was being closely monitored to minimize the impact on Olympic preparations. Ultimately, the dates were extended, and the games were held from 23rd July to 8th August 2021.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori led the Tokyo Organizing Committee at first, but he left in February 2021 following alleged controversy over sexist statements. Seiko Hashimoto was then elected as the Japanese Premier. Subsequently, he appointed Tamayo Marukawa as Minister for both the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. He was authorized to supervise the Olympic preparations.
In February 2012, it was reported that Tokyo’s former National Stadium, which hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, would be renovated for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Summer Olympics for ¥100 billion. The Japan Sport Council stated in November 2012 that it was accepting bids for proposed stadium layouts.
The United States won the most gold (39) and overall medals (113), with China coming second in both Olympic gold medal and silver medal categories (38 and 88 respectively). With 27 gold medals and 58 medals overall, Japan finished third, breaking the record for the most gold medals and total medals ever won by the country at Olympic events. With a tally of 22 gold and a total of 65 medals, Great Britain finished fourth.
On August 7, Neeraj Chopra of India made history by being the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in track and field (Javelin Throw). At the Tokyo Olympics, he clinched the gold medal after throwing 87.58 meters. The aggregate of the Olympic medal tally by the Indian contingent was 7.
If vaccines were available, the IOC suggested that athletes be vaccinated against COVID-19, although this was not a requirement for participation. Besides, the IOC cautioned athletes not to jump the queue to get priority over the critical populace.