2020 Summer Olympics

The 2020 Summer Olympics (2020年夏季オリンピック, Nisen Nijū-nen Kaki Orinpikku),[1] officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad (Japanese: 第三十二回オリンピック競技大会, Hepburn: Dai Sanjūni-kai Orinpikku Kyōgi Taikai)[2] and commonly known as Tokyo 2020, is an upcoming international multi-sport event that is scheduled to take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020 in Tokyo, Japan, with preliminary events in some sports beginning on 22 July.

Games of the XXXII Olympiad
Host cityTokyo, Japan
MottoDiscover Tomorrow
Nations206 (expected)
Athletes11,091 (expected)
Events339 in 33 sports (50 disciplines)
Opening24 July
Closing9 August
StadiumNew National Stadium
Rio 2016 Paris 2024
PyeongChang 2018 Beijing 2022

Tokyo was selected as the host city during the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 7 September 2013.[3] This will be the second time that Tokyo has hosted the Summer Olympic Games, the first being in 1964. It is also the first city in Asia to host the summer Olympic Games twice, and overall the fourth Olympics to be held in Japan, which also hosted the Winter Olympics in 1972 (Sapporo) and 1998 (Nagano). The 2020 Games will be the second of three consecutive Olympics to be held in East Asia, the first being the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, and the next being the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

These Games will see the introduction of new and additional competitions at the Summer Olympics, including 3x3 basketball, freestyle BMX and Madison cycling, as well as further mixed events. Under new IOC policies that allow the host organizing committee to add sports to the Olympic programme to augment the permanent "core" Olympic events, these Games will see karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding make their Olympic debuts. There will also be the return of baseball and softball, both removed from the summer programme after 2008.

Bidding process

Tokyo, Istanbul, and Madrid were the three candidate cities. The applicant cities of Baku (Azerbaijan) and Doha (Qatar) were not promoted to candidate status. A bid from Rome was withdrawn.

Host city selection

The IOC voted to select the host city of the 2020 Summer Olympics on 7 September 2013 at the 125th IOC Session at the Buenos Aires Hilton in Buenos Aires, Argentina. An exhaustive ballot system was used. No city won over 50% of the votes in the first round, and Madrid and Istanbul were tied for second place. A run-off vote between these two cities was held to determine which would be eliminated. In the final vote, a head-to-head contest between Tokyo and Istanbul, Tokyo was selected by 60 votes to 36, as it got at least 49 votes needed for a majority.

2020 Summer Olympics host city election[4]
City NOC name Round 1 Runoff Round 2
Tokyo  Japan 42 60
Istanbul  Turkey 26 49 36
Madrid  Spain 26 45

Development and preparation

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government set aside a fund of 400 billion Japanese yen (over 3.67 billion USD) to cover the cost of hosting the Games. The Japanese government is considering increasing slot capacity at both Haneda Airport and Narita International Airport by easing airspace restrictions. A new railway line is planned to link both airports through an expansion of Tokyo Station, cutting travel time from Tokyo Station to Haneda from 30 minutes to 18 minutes, and from Tokyo Station to Narita from 55 minutes to 36 minutes; the line would cost 400 billion yen and would be funded primarily by private investors, but East Japan Railway Company (East JR) is planning a new route near Tamachi to Haneda Airport.[5] Funding is also planned to accelerate completion of the Central Circular Route, Tokyo Gaikan Expressway and Ken-Ō Expressway, and to refurbish other major expressways in the area.[6] There are also plans to extend the Yurikamome automated transit line from its existing terminal at Toyosu Station to a new terminal at Kachidoki Station, passing the site of the Olympic Village, although the Yurikamome would still not have adequate capacity to serve major events in the Odaiba area on its own.[7]

The Tokyo Organizing Committee is headed by former Prime Minister Yoshirō Mori.[8] Olympic and Paralympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto is overseeing the preparations on behalf of the Japanese government.[9]

Venues and infrastructure

In February 2012, it was announced that the National Stadium in Tokyo, the central venue for the 1964 Summer Olympics, would undergo a ¥100 billion renovation for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.[10] In November 2012, the Japan Sport Council announced that it would take bids for proposed designs. Of 46 finalists, Zaha Hadid Architects was awarded the project, which would replace the stadium with a new, 80,000-seat stadium. The stadium faced criticism over its design (which was compared to a bicycle helmet, and judged as clashing with the surrounding Meiji Shrine) and its costs, even with attempts to revise and "optimise" the design.[11]

In June 2015, the government announced that as a further cost-savings measure, it would reduce the new stadium's permanent capacity to 65,000 in its athletics configuration (although with the option to add up to 15,000 temporary seats for football).[12][13] The government also scrapped plans to build a retractable roof.[14] Due to public outcry over the increasing costs of the stadium (which reached ¥252 billion), the government ultimately chose to scrap the Zaha Hadid design entirely, and chose a new design by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Inspired by traditional temples and having a lower profile, Kuma's design has a budget of ¥149 billion. Due to the changes in plans, the new stadium would not be completed in time for the Rugby World Cup as originally planned.[15]

In October 2018, the Board of Audit issued a report stating that the total cost of the venues could exceed US$25 billion.[16]

Of the 33 competition venues in Tokyo, 28 are within 8 kilometers (4.97 miles) of the Olympic Village. Eleven new venues are to be constructed.[17] On 16 October 2019, the IOC announced that there were plans to re-locate the marathon and racewalking events to Sapporo due to heat concerns.[18] The plans were made official on 1 November 2019 after Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike accepted the IOC's decision, despite her belief that the events should have remained in Tokyo.[19]

Heritage Zone

Seven venues for nine sports will be located within the central business area of Tokyo, northwest of the Olympic Village. Some of these venues were originally constructed for the 1964 Summer Olympics.

Venue Events Capacity Status
New National Stadium Opening and closing ceremonies 68,000 Completed[20]
Athletics (track and field)
Football (finals)
Yoyogi National Gymnasium Handball 13,291 Existing
Ryōgoku Kokugikan Boxing 11,098 Existing
Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium Table tennis 10,000 Existing
Nippon Budokan Judo 14,471 Existing
Tokyo International Forum Weightlifting 5,012 Existing
Musashinonomori Park[21] Road cycling (start road races) Temporary
Tokyo Bay Zone

There will be 13 venues for 15 sports located in the vicinity of Tokyo Bay, southeast of the Olympic Village, predominantly on Ariake, Odaiba and the surrounding artificial islands.

Venue Events Capacity Status
Kasai Rinkai Park Canoeing (slalom) 8,000 Ready, built for the games
Oi Hockey Stadium Field hockey 15,000 Under construction[22]
Tokyo Aquatics Centre Aquatics (swimming, diving, synchronized swimming) 15,000 Under construction
Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center Water polo[23] 3,635 Existing
Yumenoshima Park Archery 7,000 Under construction[24]
Ariake Arena Volleyball 15,000 Under construction
Olympic BMX Course BMX cycling 6,000 Under construction
Ariake Gymnastics Centre Gymnastics (artistic, rhythmic, trampoline) 10,000 Temporary
Ariake Coliseum Tennis 20,000 = 10,000 centre court; 5,000 court 1; 3,000 court 2; 2,000 match courts (8x250) Existing, renovated
Odaiba Marine Park Triathlon 5,000 seated, unlimited standing room along route Existing with temporary stands
Aquatics (marathon swimming)
Shiokaze Park Beach volleyball 12,000 Temporary
Central Breakwater and Sea Forest Waterway Equestrian (eventing) 20,000 Existing with temporary infrastructure
Canoeing (sprint)
Aomi Urban Sports Venue 3x3 basketball 5,000 Temporary
Sport climbing
Outlying venues

Twelve venues for 16 sports will be situated farther than 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the Olympic Village.

Venue Events Capacity Status
Camp Asaka Shooting Existing, renovated
Musashino Forest Sports Plaza Modern pentathlon (fencing) 10,000 Ready, built for the games
Tokyo Stadium Football 49,970[26] Existing
Modern pentathlon (excluding fencing)
Rugby sevens
Saitama Super Arena Basketball 22,000[27] Existing
Enoshima Sailing 10,000[28] Existing with temporary stands
Makuhari Messe Fencing 6,000 Existing with temporary stands
Wrestling 8,000[29]
Baji Koen Equestrian (dressage, jumping)[30] Existing with temporary stands
Kasumigaseki Country Club Golf 30,000[31][32] Existing with temporary stands
Izu Velodrome Track cycling 5,000[33] Existing, expanded
Izu Mountain Bike Course Mountain biking[34]
Yokohama Stadium Baseball 30,000[35] Existing
Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium Baseball (opening match) 30,000 Existing, renovated
Softball (opening match)[36]
Fuji International Speedway Road cycling
(finish road races, time trial)
Makomanai Open Stadium Athletics (Marathon and Race Walking) 17,300[37] Existing
Football venues
Venue Location Events Matches Capacity Status
International Stadium Yokohama[38] Yokohama Men's and Women's preliminaries, quarter-final, Women's semi-final and Women's final 10 70,000 Existing
Tokyo Stadium Tokyo Men's and Women's opening round 4 49,000 Existing
Saitama Stadium Saitama Men's and Women's preliminaries and quarter-final, Men's semi-final and 3rd place play-off 11 62,000 Existing
Miyagi Stadium Sendai Men's and Women's preliminaries and quarter-final 10 49,000 Existing
Kashima Soccer Stadium Kashima Men's and Women's preliminaries, quarter-final and semi-final, Women's 3rd place play-off 10 40,728 Existing
Sapporo Dome Sapporo Men's and Women's preliminaries 10 42,000 Existing
New National Stadium Tokyo Men's final 2 60,012 Under construction
Non-competition venues
Venue Events
Imperial Hotel, Tokyo IOC hotel
Harumi Futo Olympic Village
Tokyo Big Sight Media Press Center (MPC)
International Broadcast Center (IBC)


In December 2018, the Japanese government chose to ban drones from flying over venues being used for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. A ban was also imposed for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.[39]


Applications for volunteering at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were accepted from 26 September 2018. By 18 January 2019, a total of 204,680 applications had been received by the Tokyo Organizing Committee.[40] Interviews to select the requisite number of volunteers began in February 2019, with training scheduled to take place in October 2019.[41] The volunteers at the venues will be known as "Field Cast" and the volunteers in the city will be known as "City Cast". These names were chosen from a shortlist of four from an original 150 pairs of names; the other three shortlisted names were "Shining Blue" & "Shining Blue Tokyo", "Games Anchor" & "City Anchor", and "Games Force" & "City Force". The names were chosen by the people who had applied to be volunteers at the Games.[42]


In February 2017, the Tokyo Organizing Committee announced an electronics recycling program in partnership with Japan Environmental Sanitation Center and NTT Docomo, soliciting donations of electronics (such as mobile phones) to be reclaimed as materials for the medals. Aiming to collect 8 tonnes of metals to produce the medals for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, collection boxes were deployed at public locations and NTT Docomo retail shops in April 2017.[43][44] A design competition for the medals launched in December of the same year.[45]

In May 2018, the organizing committee reported that they had obtained half the required 2,700 kilograms of bronze, but that they were struggling to obtain the required amount of silver; although bronze and silver medals purely utilize their respective materials, IOC requirements mandate that gold medals utilize silver as a base.[46] The collection of bronze was completed in November 2018, with the remainder estimated to be complete by March 2019.[47]

On 24 July 2019, the designs of the medals were unveiled.[48][49] The medals for the Olympic and Paralympic Games were designed by Junichi Kawanishi following a nationwide competition.[50]

Torch relay

After its traditional lighting in Greece, the 2020 Summer Olympics torch relay will begin in Naraha, Fukushima on 26 March 2020.[51]


The opening ceremony tickets will range from 12,000 to 300,000 yen, with a maximum price of 130,000 yen for the finals of athletics.[52] The average price of all the Olympic tickets is 7,700 yen. 50% of the tickets will be sold for 8,000 yen or less. A symbolic ticket price of 2,020 yen will be for families, groups resident in Japan and in conjunction with a school programme. Tickets will be sold through 40,000 shops in Japan and by mail order to Japanese addresses through the Internet.[53] International guests will need to visit Japan during the sales period or arrange for tickets through a third party, such as a travel agent.[54]

The Games


The official programme for the 2020 Summer Olympics was approved by the IOC executive board on 9 June 2017. The president of the IOC, Thomas Bach, stated that the goal for the Tokyo Summer Olympics is to make them more "youthful" and "urban", and to increase the number of female participants.[55][56]

The Games will feature 339 events in 33 different sports, encompassing 50 disciplines. Alongside the five new sports that will be introduced in Tokyo, there will be fifteen new events within existing sports, including 3x3 basketball, freestyle BMX and Madison cycling, and new mixed events in several sports.

In the list below, the number of events in each discipline is noted in parentheses.

New sports

As part of a goal to control costs and ensure that the Olympics remain "relevant to sports fans of all generations", the IOC assessed the 26 sports contested at the 2012 Olympics, with the remit of dropping one sport and thus retaining 25 "core" sports to join new entrants golf and rugby sevens at the 2020 Games. This move would bring the total number of sports to 27, one less than the requirement of 28 for the 2020 Olympics programme, thus leaving a single vacancy that the IOC would seek to fill from a shortlist containing seven unrepresented sports as well as the sport that had been dropped from the 2012 Olympics programme.

On 12 February 2013, IOC leaders voted to drop wrestling from the "core" programme for the 2020 Games; this was a surprising decision to news outlets given that wrestling is from the ancient Olympic Games and included in the original programme for the modern Games. The New York Times felt that the decision was based on the shortage of well-known talent and the absence of women's events in the sport.[57][58][59] Wrestling was duly added to the shortlist of applicants for inclusion in the 2020 Games, alongside the seven new sports that were put forward for consideration.[57]

On 29 May 2013, it was announced that three of the eight sports under consideration had made the final shortlist: baseball/softball, squash and wrestling.[60] The other five sports were rejected at this point: karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding, and wushu.[61] On 8 September 2013, at the 125th IOC Session, wrestling was chosen to be included in the Olympic programme for 2020 and 2024. Wrestling secured 49 votes, while baseball/softball and squash received 24 votes and 22 votes respectively.[62]

Under new IOC policies that shift the Games to an "event-based" programme rather than sport-based, the host organizing committee can now also propose the addition of sports to the programme. This rule is designed to allow sports that are popular in the host country to be added to the programme, in order to improve local interest.[63] As a result of these changes, a list of eight sports was unveiled on 22 June 2015, consisting of: baseball/softball, bowling, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, surfing, and wushu.[64] On 28 September 2015, the organizers submitted their shortlist of five proposed sports to the IOC: baseball/softball, karate, sport climbing, surfing, and skateboarding.[65] These five new sports were approved on 3 August 2016 by the IOC during the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will be included in the sports programme for 2020 only, bringing the total number of sports at the 2020 Olympics to 33.[66][67]

Test events

There will be 56 test events before the Olympic and Paralympic Games; they will be contested between June 2019 and June 2020, and will be completed before the start of the 2020 Summer Olympics. Several of the events are existing championships, but some will be newly created to serve as test events for the Olympics.[68][69]

It was announced in February 2019 that the test events would be under the banner "Ready, Steady, Tokyo." The Tokyo Organizing Committee is responsible for 22 of the test events, with the remaining events to be arranged by national and international organizations. The first test event is World Sailing's World Cup Series held at Enoshima, and the last event is set to be the Tokyo Challenge Track Meet in May 2020.[70]

Participating National Olympic Committees

As of 14 December 2019, the following 137 NOCs are qualified.

On 9 December 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned Russia from all international sport for four years, after it found that the Russian government had tampered with lab data that it provided to WADA in January 2019 as a condition of its reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. As at the 2018 Winter Olympics, WADA will allow individually cleared Russian athletes to compete neutrally, and not in team sports (fencing, gymnastics, basketball, handball, volleyball...), under a title to be determined. WADA Compliance Review Committee head Jonathan Taylor stated that the IOC would not be able to use "Olympic Athletes from Russia" (OAR) as it did in 2018, specifically emphasizing that neutral athletes cannot be portrayed as representing a country, and not in team sports.[71][72][73]

Participating National Olympic Committees


The 2020 schedule by session was approved by the IOC Executive Board on 18 July 2018, with the exception of swimming, diving, and synchronized swimming. A more detailed schedule by event has been released on 16 April 2019, still omitting a detailed schedule for the boxing events.[74][75]

All times and dates use Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
OCOpening ceremony Event competitions 1Gold medal events EGExhibition gala CCClosing ceremony
July/August 22
Archery 1 1 1 1 1 5
Athletics 2 3 5 5 6 5 7 7 7 1 48
Badminton 1 1 1 2 5
Baseball 1 1
Basketball Basketball 1 1 4
3×3 Basketball 2
Boxing 2 1 1 1 4 4 13
Canoeing Slalom 1 1 1 1 16
Sprint 4 4 4
Cycling Road cycling 1 1 2 22
Track cycling 1 2 1 2 2 1 3
BMX 2 2
Mountain biking 1 1
Diving 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
Equestrian 1 1 2 1 1 6
Fencing 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 12
Field hockey 1 1 2
Football 1 1 2
Golf 1 1 2
Gymnastics Artistic 1 1 1 1 4 3 3 EG 18
Rhythmic 1 1
Trampolining 1 1
Handball 1 1 2
Judo 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 15
Karate 3 3 2 8
Modern pentathlon 1 1 2
Rowing 2 4 4 4 14
Rugby sevens 1 1 2
Sailing 2 2 2 2 2 10
Shooting 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 15
Skateboarding 1 1 1 1 4
Softball 1 1
Sport climbing 1 1 2
Surfing 2 2
Swimming 4 4 4 5 5 4 4 5 1 1 37
Synchronized swimming 1 1 2
Table tennis 1 1 1 1 1 5
Taekwondo 2 2 2 2 8
Tennis 1 1 3 5
Triathlon 1 1 1 3
Volleyball Beach volleyball 1 1 4
Volleyball 1 1
Water polo 1 1 2
Weightlifting 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 1 14
Wrestling 3 3 3 3 3 3 18
Daily medal events11182122231722192622241728223413339
Cumulative total1129507295112134153179201225242270292326339
July/August 22
Total events

Event scheduling

Per the historical precedent of swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and figure skating at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, swimming finals will be held in the morning to allow live primetime broadcasts in the Americas (due to the substantial fees NBC has paid for rights to the Olympics, the IOC has allowed NBC to have influence on event scheduling to maximize U.S. television ratings when possible; NBC agreed to a $7.75 billion contract extension on 7 May 2014, to air the Olympics through the 2032 games,[76] and is also one of the major sources of revenue for the IOC).[77] Japanese broadcasters were said to have criticized the decision, as swimming is one of the most popular Olympic events in the country.[78][79]


The official emblems for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics were unveiled on 25 April 2016; designed by Asao Tokolo, who won a nationwide design contest, it takes the form of a ring in an indigo-colored checkerboard pattern. The design is meant to "express a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan".[80] The designs replaced a previous emblem which had been scrapped due to allegations that it plagiarized the logo of the Théâtre de Liège in Belgium. The Games' slogan is Discover Tomorrow (Japanese: 未来あしたをつかもう, romanized: Ashita o tsukamō). While ashita literally means 'tomorrow', it is intentionally spelled as mirai 'future'.[81]

The official mascot of the 2020 Summer Olympics is Miraitowa, a figure with blue-checkered patterns inspired by the Games' official emblem. Its fictional characteristics include the ability to teleport.[82] Created by Japanese artist Ryo Taniguchi, the mascots were selected from a competition process which took place in late 2017 and early 2018. A total of 2,042 candidate designs were submitted to the Tokyo Organizing Committee, which selected three pairs of unnamed mascot designs to present to Japanese elementary school students for the final decision.[83][84] The results of the selection were announced on 28 February 2018, and the mascots were named on 22 July 2018. Miraitowa is named after the Japanese words for "future" and "eternity", and Someity is named after someiyoshino, a type of cherry blossom. Someity's name also references the English phrase "so mighty".[85] The mascots are expected to help finance the Tokyo Games through merchandising and licensing deals.[86]

Concerns and controversies

On December 10, 2018, the French financial crimes office began an investigation of Tsunekazu Takeda, the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, about a 2013 scheme to obtain votes from International Olympic Committee (IOC) members from Africa in support of Tokyo as host for the 2020 Olympics instead of Istanbul or Madrid.[87][88]

South Korea asked the International Olympic Committee to ban the Japanese Rising Sun Flag from the 2020 Summer Olympics, because the flag is a symbol of Japan's imperialist past and recalls "historic scars and pain" for people of Korea just as the swastika "reminds Europeans of the nightmare of World War II".[89][90]

Russian and South Korean officials took issue with a map of the torch relay on the Games' official website, which depicted the disputed Liancourt Rocks (territory claimed by Japan but governed by South Korea) and Kuril Islands (territory claimed by Japan but governed by Russia since 1945) as part of Japan.[91]

The Olympics torch relay will begin in Fukushima, the site of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster,[92] and the Olympic baseball and softball matches will be played at Fukushima Stadium, in order to further recovery in the region. The area is considered safe by the World Health Organization and the United Nations, although scientific studies on the safety of Fukushima are currently in great dispute.[93]


Sony and Panasonic are partnering with NHK to develop broadcasting standards for 8K resolution television, with a goal to release 8K television sets in time for the 2020 Olympics.[94][95] Italian broadcaster RAI announced an intent to deploy 8K broadcasting for the Games.[96]

In the United States, the 2020 Summer Olympics will be broadcast by NBCUniversal properties, as part of a US$4.38 billion agreement that began at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.[97]

In Europe, this will be the first Summer Olympics under the IOC's exclusive pan-European rights deal with Eurosport, which began at the 2018 Winter Olympics and run through 2024. The rights for the 2020 Summer Olympics cover almost all of Europe, excluding France due to an existing rights deal with France Télévisions and Canal+ that expires after these Games (although in October 2019, it was reported that Canal+ was considering selling its pay TV rights to Discovery and Eurosport, citing financial difficulties being faced by the broadcaster),[98] and Russia due to a pre-existing deal with a marketer through 2024.[99] Eurosport will sub-license coverage to free-to-air networks in each territory and other Discovery Inc.-owned channels. In the United Kingdom, these will be the last Games whose rights are primarily owned by the BBC, although as a condition of a sub-licensing agreement that will carry into the 2022 and 2024 Games, Eurosport holds exclusive pay television rights.[100][101][102]

Telecom company NTT Docomo signed a deal with Finland's Nokia to provide 5G-ready baseband networks in Japan in time for the Olympics.[103][104]


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Preceded by
Rio de Janeiro
Summer Olympic Games

XXXII Olympiad (2020)
Succeeded by
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