Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
The host city for the Olympic Games held in 2021 was Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Tokyo was announced as the winning host bid over Madrid and Istanbul in September 2013. The Games, originally planned to be held in 2020, were postponed to a year later due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was held from July 23th to August 8th, 2021, though some events started before the opening ceremony, with baseball, softball, and soccer games on July 21. Although the games were held in 2021, for marketing and branding reasons, it was still referred to as 'Tokyo 2020'.
This was the second time that Japan had hosted the Summer Olympics, they previously hosted the event in 1964. Japan was also selected to host the canceled 1940 Games. Japan has also hosted the Winter Olympics twice, in 1998 in Nagano and 1972 in Sapporo.
Memorable Performances and Sportsmanship
- Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi and Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim agreed to tie for a gold medal rather than deciding the winner in a jump-off.
- 400m hurdler Sydney McLaughlin smashed her own world record, but the men's race matched it with Norwegian Karsten Warholm storming to victory in the men's 400m hurdles final in world record time.
- The premier event on the track was won by unheralded Italian Lamont Marcell Jacobs.
Impact of Coronavirus
There was a significant impact from the coronavirus pandemic on the Tokyo Olympics. The Games were postponed to a year later than scheduled. Although the pandemic was still affecting most parts of the world, the Games still went ahead, albeit with changes from the usual. Athletes were tested on arrival and then tested every four days if they continue to be negative. The athletes were also limited to the Olympic Village and transported to their venue for competition and training, and only stayed in Japan for the duration of their events. No spectators were able to attend events.
Five new sports were added to the program since the last Olympics: baseball and softball, karate, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing. See the List of Sports for Tokyo.
There were a total of 205 National Olympic Committees involved at the Games, plus the IOC Refugee Olympic Team.
Following sanctions due to state-sponsored doping, only Russian athletes who meet certain criteria were able to compete, though they had to participate at the Tokyo 2020 under the name "ROC" (the acronym of the Russian Olympic Committee).
North Korea withdrew from Tokyo 2020 citing COVID-19 fears, their first absence in the Summer Olympics since 1988. Guinea also withdrew from the Games, but reversed this decision the day before the Games began.
Again there was an IOC Refugee Olympic Team competing. Selection in this team was based on their sporting performance, their confirmed refugee status, as well as balanced representation across sports, regions and genders.
There were two 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots: Miraitowa (Olympic Games) & Someity (Paralympic Games). Japanese school children voted for their favorite designs from three shortlisted illustrations, and another vote was used to select names for them. They decided on two futuristic, superhero creatures, the blue Olympics mascot and pink Paralympics digitally designed creatures echo the country's anime obsession. The Olympic mascot is a blue and white checked character called miraitowa (pronounced miray-towa), inspired by the combination of two Japanese words: 'mirai', which means future and 'towa', which means eternity. The Paralympic mascot is a pink and white checked superhero named someity (pronounced soh-may-tee), the name derived from the cherry blossom someiyoshino and with hints of the English phrase 'so mighty.'
- There were over 40 sporting venues spread over several zones.
- After much delay, the Torch Relay finally went ahead.
- Food Provision at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics
- Tokyo Trivia — Olympic Games trivia for 2021
- 1964 Summer Olympic Games
- About the canceled 1940 Games which Japan was selected to host
- About Japanese Athletes at the Summer Olympic Games.
- Complete list of Olympic host cities
- Sport in Japan