Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid team make strong presentation in London
Emma Bird went to hear what the Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid team had to say about their quest for success.
By Emma Bird
Last Updated: 11/01/13 7:41am
Thursday saw the delegation, including IOC member and President of the Japanese Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020, Tsunekazu Takeda, arrive in London to share their Candidature File with an international audience.
The city's bid has recently become favourite to win, as it competes against Madrid and Istanbul. Sky Sports went to hear how the delegation is ensuring the plans end with success when the election of the host city is announced on September 7 this year.
Having lost out to Rio de Janeiro in the voting for the 2016 bid, the mantra of "keep the best and improve the rest" has been employed by the Tokyo team.
Following Monday's submission of the file to the IOC, the Tokyo team were eager to focus on the strengths of their bid, which were concentrated around three main areas.
The first is delivery; with high-quality, financial strength and world-leading infrastructure some of the main selling points. The safety of the city was also drawn upon on several occasions, with the fact that Tokyo's GDP is the largest of any city in the world another major advantage.
Next was celebration, with much of the detail drawing on the success of London 2012, with Takeda highlighting the similarities between the two cities.
He said: "London 2012 gave us an additional lesson in how to host. Seb Coe and his team demonstrated the importance of preparation and attention to detail."
This was also where we first heard the important notion of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy, which of course was one of the key factors in London winning its bid back in 2005.
Inspiring the youth of the world is one of the key aims of the 2020 bid, which would be held in a forward-thinking city that repeatedly sets global trends. It is this innovation which was the third point the bid team used as they emphasised their aim to "reinforce and renew the Olympic Values for the new generation."
It is not only legacy through inspiration though, but also in the venues themselves. The new National Stadium is to be built on the exact site of the 1964 Olympic Stadium.
With $4.5 billion in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Hosting Reserve Fund, financial strength is by far, one of this delegation's attractive advantages.
However, the issues of radiation and nuclear problems are much questioned glitches in Tokyo's bid, yet the team were keen to stress that these wouldn't be a concern, with levels not in the harmful range at present.
During their presentation, a short film was shown; portraying how Tokyo would look during the Games should they win, with many references to the recent London Games thrown in.
It was clear from watching this just how successful the London events were and how they were received across the world.
Takayuki Suzuki, Tokyo 2020 Bid Ambassador and London 2012 Paralympic Games' bronze medallist in two swimming disciplines expressed the joy he felt last summer.
He added: "In London I experienced the first sold-out venues; I competed at an Aquatics Centre that was as full for the Paralympics as it had been for the Olympics. In Tokyo, I can tell you that it will be the same, every venue full of colour and noise."
It is this focus on competition and the wellbeing of athletes which Tokyo's team also wanted to gain support for. Homare Sawa, Tokyo 2020 Bid Ambassador and FIFA Women's World Player of the Year 2011, was a key member of the delegation.
From an athlete's perspective, the more centralised Olympic and Paralympic Village is of utmost importance, with 87% of athletes having their competition venue within 20 minutes of the Olympic Village.
In the venue plan, it states, "Athletes at the heart of the most-compact Games ever."
Sawa added: "The village will be at the heart of our Games...it will be located on a waterfront peninsula, overlooking Tokyo Bay, it will be an oasis of calm, ideal for preparation. The athletes will enjoy a wonderful experience before and after competing."
As with any Olympic bid, there are positives but also setbacks. Tokyo is a well-developed, world-leading city which offers great potential to be a brilliant host community. However, financial strength may be a solid foundation yet it also has to have that extra something which sets it apart from its competitors.
London delivered because it kept to its word and showcased the best of Britain. Tokyo aim to "be great hosts, of a wonderful party". Plans are still in the very early stages yet the bid team have sent out a clear message built on strong values and ideas.
With London having done such a tremendous job last summer, the legacy from 2012 continues to be a debated issue. It set out to 'inspire a generation'; whether or not this has been achieved will take time to evaluate but with bidders such as Tokyo keen to keep the inspiration alight, the Olympic and Paralympic Games should have an exciting future ahead.