Tokyo 2020’s Olympic venues combine tradition with the future

Tokyo 2020’s Olympic venues combine tradition with the future

15.07.2021: Tradition and modernity are never far apart in Tokyo, the Japanese capital, where ryokas, teahouses and ancient shrines sit beside glass skyscrapers, capsule hotels and robot cafés.

Tradition and modernity are never far apart in Tokyo, the Japanese capital, where ryokas, teahouses and ancient shrines sit beside glass skyscrapers, capsule hotels and robot cafés.

No wonder then that this unique blend of modern and traditional also applies to the venues at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which are also aimed at speeding the city’s transition to become more inclusive, and smart.

“Tokyo has a rich heritage and has shown its capacity to innovate, for example at the Olympic Games 1964. This time, the Games will accelerate the city’s move to a more sustainable future,” says Marie Sallois, IOC Director for Sustainability.

The first cluster, the Heritage Zone, includes venues that were first used for the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964. One of these, the iconic Nippon Budokan, is the spiritual home of Japanese martial arts, where judo was first included on the Olympic programme in 1964. This year it will welcome karate to the Olympic Games too.

The Tokyo Bay Zone, on the other hand, is a cluster of modern venues, many of them linked to water. The Tokyo Aquatics Centre, for example, has elegant curves on its diving platforms and a 10-lane main pool. State-of-the-art technology allows the length and depth of its pools to be adjusted by moving floors and walls. To complete the sense of modernity, and reflecting Tokyo 2020’s commitment to sustainability, it is powered by solar energy and a ground heat exchanger.

Even if this mix of old and new was always part of the plan, that plan has evolved since 2013 when the Games were awarded to Tokyo. Since then, the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 has required host cities to make maximum use of existing venues, reducing both the cost of construction and carbon emissions.

As a result, Tokyo 2020 has minimised new construction, and of a total 43 competition venues, just eight have been built from scratch, while 10 are temporary and 25 are being reused. Going forward, just five per cent of the venues at Paris 2024 will be new, and this figure will fall to zero for Los Angeles 2028.

Of the 25 venues reused for Tokyo 2020, five were used at Tokyo’s 1964 Olympic Games: the Yoyogi National Stadium, Equestrian Park, Nippon Budokan, Enoshima Yacht Harbour and Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. They are some of Tokyo’s most iconic venues. Most famous for its suspension roof, for example, the Yoyogi National Gymnasium has become an architectural icon due to its distinctive design, mixing traditional Japanese architecture and western modernist aesthetics. This year, it will host handball, and Paralympic rugby and badminton.

Inclusive and smart

Away from sport, Tokyo planners say the Olympic Games are helping to accelerate their city’s transition to become more inclusive and smart. The Games are enabling Tokyo’s 14 million residents to have more green spaces, healthier lifestyles, easier transport possibilities, and a better balance between life and work. The Games are also helping the city become more sustainable and better adapted to future challenges.

One of these challenges will inevitably be climate change. Besides reducing emissions through the extensive use of renewable energies, such as biomass, hydrogen, heat pumps and solar, the Tokyo 2020 venues are designed with heat in mind.

Tokyo’s new Olympic Stadium allows the wind from outside to breeze through the stands, for example, cooling the athletes and fans inside. In an emergency, the same stadium will be used as a shelter, while its stores can hold enough food and water for 80,000 people. City authorities are also creating more green spaces, planting trees and installing heat-reflecting pavements.

One of the green spaces will be down at the Olympic Village, which is set to host some 11,000 athletes this summer. When the Games are over, it will eventually consist of 24 buildings, housing a mix of residents, including the elderly and young families. Designed to demonstrate an urban lifestyle that is both environmentally friendly and technologically advanced, the Olympic Village will have seaside parks and other green spaces that add to the quality of life.

An important part of the Tokyo 2020 legacy will be improved sporting facilities for the city’s residents. Recently constructed venues in the Bay Area Zone will offer the local community opportunities for swimming, as well as canoeing, archery, sailing, hockey, running, tennis, rugby, rowing and many more.

Indeed, a Tokyo city target sees 70 per cent of Tokyo’s residents practising sport at least once a week. This target includes the elderly as well as people with impairments. And so the Olympic preparations include creating a barrier-free environment across the city’s parks and streets, for people of all ages and abilities.

- IOC Sports, also photos


15.07.2021 / MaP

More News

Saudi Ministry of Sports Launches 'Fakhr Program' to Develop Sporting Abilities of People with Special Needs
Organized by the Saudi Paralympic Committee under the Quality of Life Program 2020, the initiative will organize rehabilitation services, special training, and national/international camps for male and female participants The Ki more >>
Sauber Group and Orthotec unveil the first fully Swiss racing wheelchair
Sauber Group, together with Orthotec, a subsidiary of the Swiss Paraplegics Foundation, and other major Swiss technology partners, unveiled the new OT FOXX racing wheelchair, an elite model, designed to compete at the highest levels of wheelchair racing, whose development will also bring innovation to everyday wheelchair users. more >>
125 Red Bull athletes for Tokyo by disciplines and countries
All athletes, across all disciplines that you need to know ahead of Tokyo. With 125 athletes across 18 disciplines and from 49 countries, here are all the Red Bull athletes you need to know ahead of Tokyo. more >>
Discovery and Team Germany extend media partnership until the Olympic Games Paris 2024
Expansion of the successful partnership: Discovery Deutschland and Team Deutschland are expanding their comprehensive media partnership up to and including the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, which the broadcaster agreed with the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and Deutsche Sport Marketing (DSM) as its marketing agency. more >>
Statement of Discovery, Inc. on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games postponement
24 March 2020 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee have announced in a joint statement that the Olympic Games will be postponed until 2021. Discovery, Inc. makes the following statement: Discovery fully supports the plan of th more >>
Toyota and Special Olympics expand partnership to Europe
    Toyota Motor Europe and Special Olympics announce new three-year partnership from 2020    Toyota will combine with the world’s largest sports organisation for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities to provide support for thousands of sport events across Europe and Eurasia &nbs more >>
Mission Tokyo 2020: Alessandro Zanardi takes to the Fuji track with his handcycle
The ‘SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race’ event has begun with the first test sessions being held at the ‘Fuji International Speedway’ (JPN). Before taking to the track in his #4 ZF BMW M4 DTM, Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) had already completed some laps around the circuit with his handcycle. more >>
Eurosport schließt umfangreiche Content-Partnerschaft mit Twitter für die Olympischen Spiele Tokyo 2020
• Eurosport wird Highlights der Olympischen Spiele in Echtzeit auf Twitter veröffentlichen und damit die umfassende Digital-Berichterstattung für Tokyo 2020 erweitern• Die Partnerschaft unterstreicht das Versprechen von Eurosport, den Fans in Europa digitale Inhalte der Olympischen Spiele auf so vielen Bildschirmen wie möglich zur Verf&uu more >>
Toyota Provides Diverse Mobility for Tokyo 2020
... including a Full Line-up of Electrified Vehicles    Approx. 90 percent of Toyota’s vehicles will be electrified at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, aiming to achieve the lowest emissions target level of any official vehi more >>
Olympic and Paralympic Games- Global Team Toyota Athletes” On Road to Tokyo 2020
Toyota Selects Approx.240 Athletes from 43 Countries/Areas as “Global Team Toyota Athletes” On Road to Tokyo 2020    Supporting athlete activities toward Tokyo 2020, dedicated webpage launched &n more >>
2001-2021 copyright