After a year from the originally scheduled dates, the Summer Olympics and Paralympics Games in Tokyo is finally happening in 2021!
Unfortunately, there will be no spectators allowed to attend the Tokyo 2020 Games venues, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy them anyway! Whether you are a fan of diving, athletics, or just sports in general, we hope we can share interesting facts to help you enjoy the Summer Olympics Games in Japan!
For these Games of the XXXII Olympiad, the host city was chosen to be Tokyo in Japan! It was supposed to take place in 2020, but due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, it was postponed to 2021. In total, 206 countries will compete against one another, represented by about 11,000 atheletes, making the Olympic Games the biggest sports event of the year! This 2020 edition will see 5 new sports being added to the list, bringing it to 34 in total.
Olympic Games: 23 July through 8 August 2021
Paralympic Games: 24 August through 5 September 2021
Despite the Summer Games taking place in 2021, officially the name still remains as 'Tokyo 2020' and traditionally the Olympics are held on an 'even' year.
*Japanese people are quite proud of that last addition, as karate is considered to be the national sport, but it will not be part of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games
*These two sports will not be part of the next 2024 Summer Olympic Games
We all know that the Olympics were born in Ancient Greece, where it was a religious festival in which the major city-states competed against each other in various sportive events. After fading away for many centuries, it was revived in 1856 in Athens, sponsored by a wealthy Greek philanthropist. A few years later, in 1890, Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee, with the idea to hold the Games every four years, in rotating host cities around the world. Thus was born the modern tradition of the Olympic Games, to which we still abide to this day, except during exceptional crisis, like world wars or global pandemics. Did you notice during the opening ceremony that Greece leads the other teams by entering the stadium first in honour of the origin?
One of the most famous Olympic symbols, 'the Flame' is a reference to the Greek origins of the Games. For that reason, it is always lit in Olympia at the Temple of Hera, in Greece, by a woman performer portraying a priestess, joined by 10 other female performers playing Vestal Virgins. The Flame then lights the torch of the first relay bearer and passed it on to other bearers all the way to the host city, until it lights the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony.
For the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, approximately 10,000 volunteers participated in the torch relay across the 47 prefectures of Japan.
Did you know that the Flame has been reintroduced as a symbol in 1928, the torch relay was introduced at the Nazi Games of 1936?
We all know the 5 rings of the Olympic Games, but do you know what they actually mean? Each ring represents a continent (the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania), and they are all intertwined as 'a symbol of unity', which is truly the ideal of the Olympic Games, unity and peace through sports. The colours of the rings were chosen so that each participating country had at least one of the colours on its national flag.
Olympic Games: 26 July through 11 August 2024
Paralympic Games: 28 August through 8 September 2024
The next Summer Olympic Games wil take place in 2024, in Paris, France. Contrary to the 2020 edition, these Games will not see the addition of any new sports, but instead some limitations in the events, by removing the 50 km race walk. The big theme of the Paris Olympics will be sustainability. The Olympic Games have indeed often been criticized for the amount of resources they require from the host city and country, while only being a temporary event. That is why the Paris Games are planning to use 95% of existing or temporary venues, to have all of the spectators travel to the venues by public transportation, bike or foot, and to be fully aligned with the Paris Climate agreement.
Olympic Games: 4 February through 20 February 2022
Paralympic Games: 4 March through 13 March 2022
The XXIV Olympic Winter Games, more commonly known as the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, will take place in China's capital. These Olympic Games will be the last of a series of 3 consecutive Olympics to take place in Asia, after the Summer Games of Tokyo 2020 and the Winter Games of Pyeongchang 2018,
Olympic Games: 6 February through 22 February 2026
Paralympic Games: 6 March through 15 March 2026
The Milan Winter Games will be focused on the development and challenges of its host city and local regions. Northern Italy intends to use the Games to promote its mountainous regions, while also fulfilling its ambitions to become a new hub for winter sports. There isn't much information as of yet on the Milan Olympics because the focus is currently rather on the upcoming Beijing Games, but stay tuned.
So how well do you know Tokyo? Have you visited or want to explore some of the local and tourist must-visit locations in the future?
And Paris... you don't need any introduction, but besides the classic touristic hotspots, did you know all 7 of these off the beaten path locations?