Tokyo Olympics: What We Know So Far
Last year, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was postponed due to the Covid-19 virus which was, at that point, raging through the world.
It was a difficult decision to make and one that was not taken lightly; it was eventually decided that it was not safe for the games to go on.
However, Japan's Prime Minister at that time, Shinzo Abe, did say that he hoped that officials could "consider postponing the games by about a year". This was as opposed to the 2020 Games being cancelled entirely.
As the world slowly started to get a handle on the virus, Olympics preparations began again in full swing. In fact, just yesterday, the 100-day countdown to the games was kicked off by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
If you are just as excited as we are about the Olympics happening this year, here is everything we currently know about the upcoming games.
1/6 When will the Olympics be taking place?
The Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games will be taking place from July 23 to August 8. This is almost exactly one year from when the games were originally planned.
In an attempt to optimise facilities and to cut costs, Tokyo will also have 58 per cent of their facilities be existing or temporary. In fact, five of the existing Tokyo 2020 sites were actually used at Tokyo's 1964 Olympics.
2/6 Who will be participating?
In a statement that was released on the official Olympics site, it was confirmed that "all athletes already qualified and quota places already assigned for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will remain unchanged."
This means that everyone that would have participated in the original games will get the chance to participate this year.
3/6 Will there be a mascot?
Miraitowa is the official Tokyo 2020 Olympic games mascot. It was styled with the Ai Ichimatsu pattern from the Tokyo 2020 Games emblem and aims to bring together the tradition and innovation of Japanese culture.
Miraitowa has its own Instagram page and you will be able to keep up with all its antics throughout the Games by following him.
4/6 When did the Olympic torch relay begin?
The iconic torch relay started on March 25 in Fukushima, Japan. The torch relay marks the start of the Olympic flame's journey across Japan's 47 prefectures. After which, it will arrive in Tokyo for the opening of the games.
For the first time in the history of the games, the torch will be powered using hydrogen as it makes its way through Japan.
If you are interested in the torch relay, you can get the schedule here and watch the live stream here.
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5/6 What will the medals look like?
In an attempt to be more eco-friendly, Japan got locals to donate their used electronic devices and plastic waste so they could be recycled and turned into Olympic medals and podiums.
Tokyo is the first in the history of the Olympics to manufacture its medals using recycled materials.
To date, over 5,000 medals have been produced through many recycles drives that were conducted nationwide.
6/6 Will there be any new sports?
This year, five new sports have been added to the Olympics lineup. These sports are surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing, karate and baseball/softball.
Baseball was actually played in the Olympics till 2008. However, it was removed from the lineup. 2021 will be baseball's reintroduction into the competitive games.
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