As the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games get closer, the Organizing Committee has revealed new plans in order to provide inclusion and peace for all competing athletes. This comes amid further technological advances and some business shortages. Here’s the latest on those stories in an all-new Olympic Update compilation:
ATHLETES WHO MISSED 1980 OLYMPICS DUE TO BOYCOTT MAY BE INVITED TO TOKYO 2020
The Japan Times reported that Japan’s Olympic Committee is planning to invite athletes who missed out on the 1980 Moscow Olympics, due to Japan’s boycott, to next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
According to the Japan Sports Society, about 180 Japanese athletes were selected to compete in Moscow before the JOC decided to join the U.S.-led boycott in protest of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.
There have been proposals to involve the former athletes in the 2020 Games, including running in the Olympic torch relay and featuring in the opening ceremony.
TOKYO 2020 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE SHOWS REPLICA OF “GUNDAM” PROMOTION SATELLITE
According to Japan’s news agency Kyodo, Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizers held a press event earlier this month to show a replica of a microsatellite carrying model robots from the popular Japanese science fiction anime “Mobile Suit Gundam” to be launched next year for promoting the summer sports event.
The 30-centimeter-long, 10-cm-wide “G-Satellite” containing two robots from the animation series will be launched into space as a joint project with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the University of Tokyo when an unmanned cargo transporter is sent to the International Space Station in March.
The satellite with an electronic bulletin board and seven small cameras will send back images of the model robots and messages displayed in English, French and Japanese after it is released into Earth’s orbit, according to the organizing committee.
U.N. ADOPTS RESOLUTION TO PROMOTE PEACE AT TOKYO 2020 GAMES
The U.N. General Assembly on Monday adopted a truce resolution ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games in a gesture intended to promote world peace, per Kyodo.
In keeping with the custom for Olympic nations in the year before hosting the Games, Japan proposed the truce resolution at the United Nations in advance of next year’s Summer Olympics. It was adopted unanimously, without a vote.
The resolution, which mentions the massive support Japan received from the international community in the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, aims to deliver a message of peace amid uncertainty over situations in North Korea and the Middle East.
It also notes that the sequence of Olympic hosting by South Korea, Japan, and China — from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing -will continue to strengthen relations between the three Asian countries beyond the realm of sports.
TOKYO SIGHTSEEING BOAT FIRMS FEAR REVENUE DROP DURING THE GAMES
Kyodo News is reporting that tourist boats operating in Tokyo Bay, including traditional roofed boats serving food and drinks, are worried that their business will experience a decrease in revenue when next summer’s Olympics and Paralympics Games prevent them from operating on popular routes during the high season.
Measures to ensure security and water quality will limit their movements in the traditionally popular viewing spots off of the Odaiba waterfront district, where the Olympic marathon swimming events are set to take place, forcing boats to take new routes.
Between June 21 and Sept. 20, Olympics organizers will bar boats from the area where they will place underwater filter screens which they say are crucial to preserve water quality and protect athletes from E.coli.
IOC, SPORTS MOVEMENT PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR REFUGEES AHEAD OF FIRST-EVER GLOBAL REFUGEE FORUM
Recognizing the unique unifying power of sport, the IOC and the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF) have worked closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to ensure that all the bodies involved in sport –from governments to National Olympic Committees, International Sports Federations, clubs, associations and civil society organizations– come together to renew and expand their commitment to building a better world for young refugees through sport.
Ahead of the first-ever Global Refugee Forum, which will take place in Geneva on 17 and 18 December, this unprecedented global initiative has made three important pledges, building on the work which each organization has already done for refugees. The pledges are as follows:
- To promote and ensure access for all refugees, without distinction of any kind, to safe and inclusive sporting facilities.
- To increase availability and access to organised sports and sport-based initiatives for refugee and hosting communities, actively considering age, gender, ability and other diversity needs.
- To promote and facilitate equal access to and the participation of refugees in sporting events and competitions at all levels.
“Through sport, the IOC has been supporting refugees around the world for many years, said the IOC President, Thomas Bach. “More recently, together with UNHCR, we created the Olympic Refuge Foundation. From this experience, we know that for children and young people uprooted by war or persecution, sport is much more than a leisure activity. It is an opportunity to be included and protected – a chance to heal, develop and grow.”