Tokyo, Japan – A numerical milestone was recognized yesterday in Japan, as the country’s “Coming of Age” Day was celebrated in conjunction with the way-point of 2020 days to go until Tokyo 2020. With yesterday being 2020 days until the 2020 opening ceremony, that makes today 2020 days until the first day of swimming competition.
Established in 1948, Coming of Age Day’s, or Seijin no Hi’s, purpose is to recognize those 20-year-olds who embody the hopes, dreams and possibilities of their generation and, in turn, Japan’s future. As is the custom every year, the special day was observed on the second Monday of January; however, it was coincidence this day also fell on the milestone of 2020 days until the Olympics are held in Tokyo.
“It is a fantastic coincidence that this milestone happens to be on Coming of Age Day in Japan. 2020 days to go to Tokyo 2020 celebrated with 20-year-olds” remarks Tokyo 2020 Sports Director, Koji Murofushi, to the press. “Tokyo 2020 is about inspiring young people through sport, and today we were delighted to have the opportunity to broaden the network of young people eagerly looking forward to the Opening ceremony in 2020 days’ time”, he continued.
Olympians and athletes joined the hundreds of 20-year-old young adults to mark the special day’s significance as it relates to the highly anticipated Olympic Games. Japanese swimming superstar, Daiya Seto, was among the athletes in attendance to lend support to the event.
With the 2020 date just five years away, we can only envisage what swimming might be like in the semi-near future. Just for kicks, here are a few points to ponder; a few examples to start the conversation on where we think our sport will be in 2020; what do you think will transpire in swimming over the next half decade?
What will be considered “fast”? 23 world records fell in Doha at the 2014 Short Course World Championships, while 6 long course world records also fell over the year. Athletes simply are getting wicked fast to the point that the wall of super suit-era records is falling piece by piece. What time barriers can be broken by 2020? Cesar Cielo currently holds the men’s 100m freestyle World Record with his 46.91 from 2009. Nathan Adrian won 2012’s gold medal with his time of 47.52 and the top time thus far this year is 47.59 (James Magnussen)…not exactly moving in the downward direction, partly due to Cielo’s record being performed super suit era. Will we finally see a trend of the sprinter thoroughbreds knocking down the door of 46-mid consistently in the next year, on their way to 46-low…or, GASP, the 45 range by 2020? Is that possible in five years?
Will Boston 2024 happen? The United States Olympic Committee recently decided on Boston as the bid city for the 2024 Olympics, with the International Committee deciding on the final location in two years. So, by 2020, we’ll obviously know where the 2024 Olympics will be held – what are Boston’s chances? Will America have the opportunity to host the world’s greatest competitive sporting contest on home soil?
Will the cheaters be caught more expeditiously? In 2014/early 2015, we have seen such elites as Sun Yang, Yulia Efimova and Ji Heun Kim get penalized for testing positive for banned substances. With every passing year seemingly riddled with doping scandals, some handled quite differently than others, what will transpire over the next five years in terms of tolerance, screening and punishment? Will we see a rise in testing sophistication across all sports, or the trend for countries to become even more strict on testing foreign athletes training within their borders?
Who will be the American swimming stars of 2020? Promising national-level athletes who are starting to enter the world stage make the future exciting for American swimming. Cassidy Bayer, Andrew Seliskar, Michael Andrew, Katie Drabot. Additionally, with all she has accomplished, it is hard to believe that legendary Katie Ledecky will only be 22 years old in 2020….so there’s that.