28 Jul. 2012 - Tokyo reveals plans for the first Olympic stadium with a retractable roof, discusses how the city will deliver on the promise to “Discover Tomorrow”
At a press conference in London today, Japanese officials and Olympic athletes announced details about the Olympic Stadium that Tokyo will have ready for the 2020 Games. The international roll-out of “Discover Tomorrow,” the city’s future-focused vision for its bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was also discussed. During the event at the Main Press Centre in Olympic Park, Tsunekazu Takeda, newly-elected IOC Member and President of the Tokyo 2020 bid, stressed how Tokyo will leverage the unique values of the Japanese people and the excitement of a global, trend-setting city in its quest to host the 2020 Games.
The Olympic Stadium in Tokyo will be the most advanced Olympic Stadium ever – and, at the same time, will be on the same site as the stadium built for the 1964 Summer Games.
“This is the jewel in the crown of our venue plan,” explained Masato Mizuno, Vice President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, and Chief Executive of the Tokyo 2020 bid. “It’s a beautiful example of how Tokyo is bringing the values of Olympic Legacy in direct connection with the future.” As part of a complete remodelling, the Kasumigoaka National Stadium in central Tokyo will have state-of-the-art all-weather features, including an Olympic Games first: a retractable roof. In addition, the field will be natural grass, and suited to host a variety of sports, including athletics, rugby and football. An international contest was recently launched to solicit entries for the final design of the new stadium; the competition jury will be overseen by world-renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
The stadium will be ready to host games for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, to be held in Tokyo. Takeda said: “Hosting the 2020 Games would bring Japan an immense sense of pride. We are ready and able to host a dynamic celebration of Olympic Values. Our bid effort and our vision for the Games reflects what our city and the Japanese people are all about, and what we can contribute to the Olympic Movement. With the word Discover we summarise our ability to be innovative and to lead. And the word Tomorrow encapsulates our tendency to always look forward, and to think about the future. Our plans for 2020 will unite the power of the Games with the values of the Japanese people – and the excitement of a city that sets global trends.”
Also participating in the event and proving the strong government support of the bid effort was Yoshiro Mori, former Prime Minister of Japan, Vice Chairman of Tokyo 2020 Council, and Supreme Advisor of Diet Members’ League for Tokyo 2020 Bid Promotion. Tokyo 2020 received a big boost with the passing of a resolution by the House of Representatives and the House of Coucillors in December 2011, underpinned by Mori’s strong initiative.
Japan’s commitment to sport is long and distinguished. In fact, three of the speakers at today's event were Olympic athletes, and all remain active in promoting the Olympic Values.
Seiko Hashimoto is a seven-time Olympian (speed skating and cycling), the Team Japan Deputy Chef de Mission, Member of Parliament as well as a member of the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board Ai Shibata was the 800 meter Freestyle Swimming Gold medallist at Athens 2004 Games and is one of the many distinguished athletes supporting the Tokyo 2020 bid Tsunekazu Takeda is a former Olympian (equestrian), IOC Member and President of both the Japanese Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 Tokyo’s bid to host Olympic and Paralympic Games is underpinned by a belief in the power of sport, and its ability to inspire dreams and deliver positive change.