Monday, July 26, 2021



There are over two dozen distinct competitions in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics. These include traditional Olympic swimming, soccer, gymnastics, boxing, and cycling competitions, as well as newer sports that are of keen interest to younger viewers -- such as beach volleyball.

The 2021 Tokyo Games will also see karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding make their Olympic debuts, and the return of baseball and softball (which were removed from the summer program after 2008).


The Tokyo Olympic mascots are Miraitowa (left), the Olympic mascot, and Someity (right), the Paralympic mascot.

The Olympic mascot is called Miraitowa, based on the Japanese words "Mirai"(future) and "towa" (eternity) to symbolize the undaunted optimism of the Olympic games.

The Paralympic mascot is named Someity, based on "Someiyoshino", a popular cherry blossom variety, and the phrase "so mighty". Someity has cherry blossom tactile sensors, and can show enormous mental and physical strength. The mascot represents Paralympic athletes who sometimes overcome enormous obstacles to redefine the boundaries of the possible.


The new National Stadium, Tokyo in which the opening and closing ceremonies will take place.

It is a scaled down design after spiralling costs had forced the scrapping pf the original futuristic design nu architect Zahan Hadid:

The stadium features wood on both the exterior and interior. As an ode to Japan, the wood is sourced from all of Japan's 47 prefectures. The architect has described the structure as a 'living tree', built in a way to maximise the breeze flowing through the stadium in order to rely less on air conditioning.


2020 Summer Olympics logo and poster and 2020 Summer Paralympics logo and poster

According to the organisers:
Chequered patterns have been popular in countries around the world throughout history. "In Japan, the chequered pattern was known as “ichimatsu moyo” in the Edo period (1603-1867), and this chequered design in the traditional Japanese colour of indigo blue expresses a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan.

Composed of three varieties of rectangular shapes, the design represents different countries, cultures and ways of thinking. It incorporates the message of 'Unity in Diversity'. It also expresses the fact that the Olympic and Paralympic Games seek to promote diversity as a platform to connect the world.

A new Olympic motto was announced by the IOC President Thomas Bach in the hope of better reflecting a pandemic stricken world.

The International Olympic Committee decided upon the change with the new motto being, "Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together." The specific motto for the Tokyo games remains unchanged, "United by Emotion." It is the first time the motto has changed since the inception of the modern Olympics back in 1894.

President Bach said the words take on a special meaning as the commitment to the games is an "act of faith in the future," as the world begins to exit the pandemic. Bach stressed the importance of solidarity within the Olympic Movement and beyond, “We want to put a strong focus on solidarity. That’s what the word ‘together’ means - solidarity.” The IOC followed this by stressing the potential the Olympics has to unite the world with sport, especially important in a time of great global turmoil.

The Olympic motto prior was the first three words, "Citius, Altius, Fortius" - Latin that translate to "Faster, Higher, Stronger". It was chosen by the French aristocrat Pierre de Coubertin, who founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and birthed the modern Olympic games. The new Latin will now say, “Citius, Altius, Fortius - Communiter.”


Having once hosted the Summer games in 1964, this is the second time that Tokyo will host the Summer Olympics.

By the way, in searching for universally understood visual languages, pictograms (ekotoba, in Japanese, a word used prior to the design of pictograms) were for the first time designed for, and used during, the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Pictograms used for sports in the 1964 Olympics

There were also 39 general information service pictograms

Pictograms were first employed at the 1948 London Olympics as illustrations for some of the sports. Pictographic gestures were made at the 1936 Berlin games, though their mark on international memory has been permitted to fade because of their association with Third Reich ideology.

The 1964 pictograms were refined and simplified for the 1972 Munich Games and are the ones used today.


The 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo marked the very first Games held in Asia.

It was followed by the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.

The Tokyo 2020 Games will be the fourth Olympics held in Japan – this makes Tokyo the only Asian city to host the Summer Games twice.


Tokyo was supposed to host the 1940 Olympic Games

Poster for the 1940 games, when the games were scheduled to be held in Tokyo

The 1940 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XII Olympiad, were originally scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan.

The Second Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937. Amid the intensification of the war, the feasibility of both the Summer Olympics and the 1940 Winter Olympics grew increasingly questionable to other countries, who suggested a different site be chosen and spoke of the possibility of boycotting the Games were they to proceed in Japan. Many Japanese Diet members had already questioned hosting the Olympics in wartime, and the military was demanding that the organizers build the venues from wood because they needed metals for the war front, In 1938 Japan withdrew from hosting the 1940 Games.

The Games were rescheduled for Helsinki, Finland, the backup nation, but were cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II.

Helsinki and Tokyo eventually hosted the 1952 and 1964 Summer Olympics respectively.


The Tokyo 2020 Games is focused on sustainability and to promote sustainability,  are repurposing a number of the venues used in the 1964 Games. Moreover, items such as podiums, uniforms and medals are all made from recycled materials. Even the beds at the Olympic Village are made from cardboard, which will be recycled after the Games.


The gold, silver, and bronze medals at the Tokyo Olympics are part of a unique program in that the metals used to make the medals will be extracted from the inner workings of recycled home electronics. Called the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project, it has collected nearly 79,000 tons of outdated consumer electronics over the course of two years. The discarded devices were donated by Japanese corporations, local authorities, and private citizens, who offered up their old mobile phones, digital cameras, and laptops in yellow donation boxes placed all around the country. Every medal presented at the Games will be moulded using the 32kg of gold, 3,500kg of silver, and 2,200kg that were extracted from the electronics. All in all, the program raked in more than $3 million worth of precious metal from more than five million devices.


The design of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals reflects the concept that, to achieve glory, athletes have to strive for victory on a daily basis. The medals resemble rough stones that have been polished and now shine, with “light” and “brilliance” their overall themes. The medals collect and reflect myriad patterns of light, symbolising the energy of the athletes and those who support them. Their design is intended to symbolise diversity and represent a world where people who compete in sports and work hard are honoured. The brilliance of the medals signifies the warm glow of friendship symbolising people all over the world holding hands.


The torch used for the Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay was designed to resemble cherry blossoms – a renowned symbol of Japan. The relay began in March this year to coincide with the cherry blossom season.


A giant white structure reminiscent of Mount Fuji unfolded during the opening ceremony of the 2021 Games to reveal a flower-like Olympic Cauldron, which was ignited by Japanese tennis icon Naomi Osaka.


As part of the opening ceremony for the 2021 Games, 1,820 synchronised drones formed a revolving globe over the stadium, to a cover version of John Lennon’s “Imagine” (which included an appearance from Australia’s Keith Urban, for some reason).


Following the performance, Yoko Ono, co-writer with John Lennon of “Imagine”, took to Twitter to react and share her thoughts on what ‘Imagine’ embodied to her and Lennon:
John and I were both artists and we were living together, so we inspired each other. The song ‘Imagine’ embodied what we believed together at the time. John and I met – he comes from the West and I come from the East – and still we are together.


Tokyo 2020, in collaboration with the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, will rank as nearest there's ever been to a robotic Olympics. Humanoid robots will be deployed to assist and interact with spectators with small car-like robots fetching sporting equipment such as hammers and javelin, flung during the athletic field events at the new Olympic stadium, speeding up the events by reducing the time taken to retrieve the items.

Life-size humanoid robot, T-HR3 mirrors the movements of their human “handlers” who control it. It is able to high-five athletes and even hold a conversation.

The Delivery Support Robot, which was designed to deliver food and drinks to spectators in 500 wheelchair-accessible seating. Its partner, the app-commanded Human Support Robot, was also designed to guide guests requiring mobility assistance to their seats. Although it will now not be used at the Olympic Games, it could still be used at the Tokyo Paralympics, which start on 24 August.

The Field Event Support robots, which will follow operations staff and autonomously navigate to collect javelins and shot puts during track and field events. Officials say the aim is to reduce the time taken to collect the items and speed up competition.


Such a shame that a country that has put so much effort, time and money into producing a memorable and remarkable games has been so hard hit by the effects of the pandemic,

The Tokyo Olympics gets the . . . 

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