Tokyo 2020 and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) today celebrated 100 days to go to the opening of the Olympic Games in 2021 with a poignant unveiling of the Olympic Rings on Mount Takao – one of Tokyo’s most scenic vantage points – as well as a commemorative ceremony with the Olympic and Paralympic mascots in downtown Tokyo.
Despite a drizzly morning in the capital, the 100-day milestone marks the home straight for Tokyo 2020 and for thousands of the world’s greatest athletes as they ramp up preparations to deliver a performance of a lifetime in front of a worldwide audience of billions – all in the pursuit of greatness.
“For the last year, athletes around the world have kept the faith and continued to train despite huge challenges. Soon we will all be able to celebrate what they have accomplished", President Hashimoto commented. “The Games will be a celebration of resilience, of solidarity, and of our shared humanity. Together, the world has faced an unprecedented crisis and Tokyo 2020 is committed to offering a light of hope and solace this summer". Setting the tone for the event was a rendition of Sakura – a traditional folk song representative of Japan - performed using a taishogoto, a Japanese stringed musical instrument.
Colourful statues of Miraitowa and Someity – the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic mascots – were unveiled to applause outside the TMG building by the Governor of Tokyo, KOIKE Yuriko and Tokyo 2020 Vice President ENDO Toshiaki, while YAMASHITA Yasuhiro, the Japanese Olympic Committee President, ISHIKAWA Royichi, Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly President and KOYAMA Kunihiko, all helped pull the string.
“We hope this Tokyo 2020 Games will be a symbol of sustainable recovery. We need to be meticulous and bold at the same time [and] prepare ourselves for the Games", Governor Koike said in her opening remarks. Meanwhile on Mount Takao the Olympic rings were simultaneously unveiled, accompanied by a ceremonial conch shell performance by monks from nearby temples with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic mascot Miraitowa looking on.
Olympian MIYASHITA Junichi, a bronze medallist for Japan at Beijing 2008, was also in attendance and stood proudly in front of the celebrated rings. "Looking at the Olympic symbols, we can really feel the excitement. The Olympics has been postponed by a year and I think it has generated anxiety amongst the athletes as well as many people around the world. We hope that we can move towards a positive direction", he said. Despite the year-long postponement of the Olympic Games, which will now take place from 23 July 2021, Tokyo 2020 will see the first Olympic medals awarded in karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing, and will also welcome back Baseball and Softball after several years’ absence.
History awaits, and Tokyo will be ready. “Over the next 100 days, Tokyo 2020 will continue fine-tuning its plans", President Hashimoto explained. “The Playbooks will be updated to include even more detail and reflect the latest expert advice. Tokyo 2020 will also finalise decisions such as spectator capacity in venues. All decisions will be made with the ultimate goal of ensuring a safe environment where athletes can give their very best".