Athletes ready and excited for start of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

The growing excitement amongst athletes in Japan was highlighted to the IOC Session today, with the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 competitions set to get underway tomorrow.

138th IOC Session at the Okura Hotel in Tokyo

Speaking about feedback she had received from athletes preparing for the Games, IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Kirsty Coventry said: “The Village is looking great, the athletes are super excited. We've been hearing some very positive experiences from athletes I must say.”

She continued: “Athletes are just happy to finally be here in Tokyo. They're looking forward to the competitions starting; they are very excited about the beautiful venues. A lot of athletes had gone to training, they’re coming back and having meals, [they] were very happy with the food, very happy with the rooms, and very happy with the consistency – all around saying that everyone is just very helpful.”

With football and softball getting underway in less than 24 hours, attention now turns towards sport ahead of what is set to be a spectacular Opening Ceremony on Friday. In his report, Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission Chair John Coates told the IOC Members that the work done, both on permanent and temporary facilities, is of the highest quality, and that the conditions in the Village, training venues and competition fields of play are perfect. Many of the venues are already being put to use during pre-competition training sessions, whilst the Olympic Village, International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre have all been operational for a number of days.

In addition, the IOC Session received an overview of the extensive efforts being made to bring the excitement of the Games to fans in Japan and throughout the world. In preparing to deliver for the biggest ever Games-time audience, the IOC explained its plans to connect with billions of fans through ground-breaking broadcast coverage and digital innovations. These include the use of digital, real-time live cheer maps, fan videos that will be broadcast in venues, and the possibility for athletes to speak to close family and friends directly after they have competed. State-of-the-art audio effects will also be used in all venues, broadcasting sounds from each sport from past Games to create the effect of spectators, with the intention of providing strong, emotional connections to inspire the athletes.

IOC Members were reminded that the delivery of safe and secure Games remains a priority for Tokyo 2020 and the IOC, made possible through compliance with key stakeholder Playbooks. One of the fundamental elements of this has been widescale screening testing.

IOC Members also received updates on the Olympic Agora, a unique hub designed to celebrate Olympic culture and heritage. Situated in the historic Nihonbashi District, it offers different touch points with diverse communities by putting Olympic culture, history, values and education at the heart of the Games. It has proven popular with Tokyo residents so far, while its supplementary online presence continues to engage fans from across the world.

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