Five Cool Facts About the 2020 Olympics
- Landmarks Front and Center
- Five New Sporting Categories
- The Precious “Medals” in Cell Phones
- The Safest City
While many were excited to tune in for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, hosted in PyeongChang, there’s no denying the buzz that surrounds the 2020 Games, which will be organized that summer in Tokyo. The summer games are widely considered to be the primary or proper Olympic contests, although winter sports now receive their due from the global audience. To whet everyone’s appetite for the upcoming events, here are some impressive facts about Tokyo and the incipient events the city will host.
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1. Robots and Advanced Technology Everywhere
Japan has, for the past several decades, styled itself as a culture embracing the future through technological advancements. The 2020 Games will be no exception, featuring facial recognition on a broad scale, cameras and microphones installed en mass to cut down on potential criminal activity, robotic baggage assistants at the airports, and even fleets of driverless cars designed to serve the massive influx of directionally challenged tourists. But these features are, while very cool, only extensions of existing technology. Japan has something extraordinary in store to mark the opening ceremonies— a humanmade meteor shower.
2. Landmarks Are Stars
Athletics Weekly reports that for the marathon and race walk events, Tokyo planners selected routes marked by iconic landmarks. The tranquil beauty of the Imperial Palace Gardens will preside over the participants in the Race Walk. Meanwhile, cycling routes embrace the best of both traditional and modern Tokyo. Beginning in the vibrant tranquility of Musashinonomori Park, the cycling event will wrap up at the Fuji International Speedway, with its stunning view of Mount Fuji. While Japan is well-known for its embrace of the future and other cultural innovations, the race events will also showcase their deep respect for cultural preservation and tradition.
3. Five Additional Events
Reflecting the Games’ commitment to reflect the world as new generations come to compete, the committee has voted to include five new events. In addition to softball and baseball—the latter of which Japanese culture embraced enthusiastically in the latter half of the 20th century—sport climbing, competitive skateboarding, and surfing will be on the event schedule. According to a statement made by the sitting Olympic committee, these events represent a novel blending of both old and new sporting trends, which “are popular in Japan and will add to the legacy of the Tokyo Games.”
4. Old Cell Phones and New Medals
All cellular devices contain precious metals in small amounts. These metals, such as gold, act as conductors for electricity, which make smartphones and other communication devices plausible. In an innovative move, Japan has instituted a program that encourages citizens to recycle their old devices, which will then be mined for these metals. The produce of the program will be used to craft the Olympic medals awarded after each event. But while it’s an apparent exercise in sustainability, it serves another valuable purpose. By donating their devices, Japanese citizens contribute to the games in a personal way, making the 2020 Olympics a legitimate community effort.
5. The Safest City
In 2016, concerns about the safety of tourists during the Games. Rio de Janeiro has a high crime rate, and efforts were made to curtail violent crime and theft. Tokyo, however, was ranked as the safest city in the world by a 2017 analysis that was based on 49 indicators of health, personal and cybersecurity, and even access to amenities and hospitals. With the enhanced technology and focus on increased tourist amenities for the games, any visitors can be sure to celebrate in safety when they arrive in Tokyo for the Games.
In typical Japanese style, they have successfully blended both traditional philosophy and a taste for embracing the modern as they look forward to the opening ceremonies. While the 2020 Olympic Games are still more than 900 days away, Tokyo is preparing for their role as host for the second time the history of the modern sporting celebration with youthful enthusiasm and profound vision.