“The people of Japan have great excitement for the Games,” said IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates. “We already see an incredible level of enthusiasm, with unprecedented levels of interest in buying tickets, an excellent contribution from the public in recycling phones to create the Olympic medals, and the overwhelming number of applications to become a volunteer. Excitement is growing internationally, with an estimated 110 heads of state planning to attend.”
Passion for Olympic sports has translated into unprecedented ticket sales. Some 7.5 million residents in Japan signed up for Tokyo 2020 ID registration, and during the first phase of tickets sales, over 3.2 million tickets were sold. A second lottery will give those who were not successful the first time another chance to buy tickets sometime in August. Outside Japan, Authorised Ticket Resellers started international ticket sales on 20 June, and sales are already going very well.
Excitement for the Games is also evident with the country-wide participation in Organising Committee events. Tokyo 2020 reached its goals for the collection of recycled metals to manufacture the 5,000 medals needed for the Games. Organisers have now collected 32kg of gold, 3,500kg of silver and 2,200kg of bronze. Municipal authorities across Japan collected 78,985 tons of used mobile phones and other small electronic devices, while shops of a Tokyo 2020 domestic partner collected 6.21 million mobile phones for this very successful project.
The Organising Committee presented key updates on operational planning, which included extensive plans on testing transport flows this summer, comprehensive mitigation measures on the impact of adverse weather, and progress on test events as well as delivery plans for venues.
Tokyo 2020 will use a total of 43 venues – eight new permanent venues, 25 existing venues and 10 temporary venues. Out of the eight new venues, five are completed: Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Yumenoshima Park Archery Field, Sea Forest Waterway, Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre and Oi Hockey Stadium. The three remaining venues remain on schedule and are near completion: the Olympic Stadium is 90 per cent complete, Ariake Arena is 83 per cent complete and the Tokyo Aquatics Centre is 75 per cent complete. The residential buildings of the Olympic Village will be completed in December of this year.
A total of 56 test events will be held in three waves for every discipline at the Games. They will be hosted by International and National Federations, as well as the Organising Committee, until May 2020. The first wave focuses on outdoor sports, and will be held between June and September 2019. Second wave test events, mainly for indoor sports, will be held from October 2019 to February 2020, and the third wave of events will take place between March and May 2020. This year’s test event season began in June with the UIPM 2019 Pentathlon World Cup final, followed by the Ready Steady Tokyo test events in weightlifting, archery, surfing and road cycling. Athletes have the chance to check the venues one year before the Games, and fans have been showing their enthusiasm at some of these events, a strong indication of the growing popularity of Olympic sports in Japan.
“The test events are in full swing, and we have received very good feedback from the athletes and the International Federations,” said Chair Coates. “This is a time period that is vital in testing operations and collaborating with the stakeholders of the Olympic Movement.”
“Test events are not only for the athletes. They are also a test for us as the Games organisers,” said Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori. “As we approach the One-Year-To-Go milestone, I really feel the importance of these events. Everyone is working very hard to deliver successful Games.”
The number of volunteer applications is another sign that the Games are on track to success. Over 204,000 people in Japan and overseas have applied to be a volunteer for the Olympic Games. Eventually, 80,000 will be chosen for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to become an Olympic volunteer.