As Heat Threat Concerns Rise, Tokyo 2020 Organizers Trial New Cooling Measures

The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee is testing new measures to keep people in a cool environment as fears grow regarding heat threat after 57 people have died resulting from heat-related illnesses between July 29th and August 4th. Among the deadly victims is an Olympics construction worker.

Last year a heatwave in the city killed over a dozen people. So far this year 11 people have died and another 5,000 have been taken to hospitals.

As a result, Tokyo 2020 organizers have tested ways to keep people cool at an international volleyball event in light of next year’s Games.

These measures include a specially designed main stadium that is supposed to channel cooler air across spectators and onto the track, water mist towers, ice packs, or shaded areas to provide relief to spectators lining up outside venues.

In late July, the Organizing Committee tested ways to keep people cool at an international volleyball event in light of next year’s Games.

Per Japan’s news agency Kyodo News, the number of people sent to hospitals nearly tripled from 1,948 in the past few weeks as the rainy season came to an end. So far the heatwave has claimed 57 lives, among which is an Olympics construction worker. Police said that a heatstroke may have been the cause of death in the worker’s case, although the exact cause of death hasn’t been confirmed.

As temperatures are likely to remain above the average in Japan in the upcoming weeks, people have been urged to stay hydrated.

Weather-related concerns have increased ever since Tokyo was awarded the Games back in 2013. Most recently, a historic heatwave affected Japan’s capital last summer, as they saw a record high temperature of 41.1 degrees Celsius.

The Organizing Committee has recognized the threat that extreme heat and typhoons pose and therefore is considering it a “major issue,” which is resulting in the changing of the start times for several sporting events.

The Organizing Committee will provide information regarding weather conditions and safety precautions through the Games’ official app. Organizers are also considering allowing spectators to bring their own drinks into the different event venues, which had been forbidden at prior Games.

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