The ABC of the ‘Olympics-like-no-other’, the weird Tokyo 2020

The ABC of the ‘Olympics-like-no-other’, the weird Tokyo 2020
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Your guide to Tokyo 2020 – from the 42 competition venues to medals that are made from recycled metal.

Competition venues within and outside Tokyo

There are 42 competition venues for this year’s Olympics, and the majority of them are located in Tokyo.

A number of them, such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium and Yoyogi National Stadium, also hosted events during the 1964 Tokyo Games.

To avoid possible high temperatures in the capital city, a handful of sports are conducted in venues farther away. Hokkaido, for instance, will host the marathon and race walking events.

The Olympic medals

Graphic designer Junichi Kawanishi won a nationwide competition in 2019 to design medals for the 2020 Games.

The medals, designed to symbolise an athlete’s journey from beginner to Olympic champion, are made from recycled metal.

Almost 79,000 tonnes of used electronic devices, such as mobile phones and laptops, were collected across Japan through a donation drive to provide raw materials for the 5,000 Olympic medals.

New national stadium

Completed at a cost of more than US$1.4 billion (S$1.9 billion), the stadium will host the athletics and football events during the Games, in addition to the opening and closing ceremonies.

Construction started in December 2016, about 14 months later than planned, after the original design was scrapped because of a public outcry over spiralling costs.

The centrepiece stadium is designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who is known for blending traditional Japanese style with modern elements.

Hottest in recent history

This year’s Summer Olympics will be held during July and August, typically the annual peak for temperatures and humidity in Tokyo.

Historical data for the past 20 years shows that average maximum temperatures in the capital can be as high as 38.1 deg C during the dates of the Games, potentially making these the hottest Olympics in more than 40 years.

  Daily maximum temperature

When Tokyo first hosted the Games in 1964, they were held during the cooler, drier month of October. Most Summer Olympics have been held in July and August since 1976, with some exceptions.

Torch relay across Japan

The nationwide torch relay began on March 25 at J-Village, a football training centre in Fukushima that served as an operations base for workers who battled the nuclear power plant crisis. The location was selected to emphasise Japan’s recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

However, the relay has faced numerous problems, with nearly half of the legs on the route disrupted amid continuing fears over the spread of Covid-19.


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