The past few Olympic Games have displayed a variety of aquatic venues and the 2020 Tokyo Games will be no exception. Tokyo will mirror the Rio Olympics and have two venues for the aquatic events. The pre-existing Tatsumi International Swimming Center will host water polo, while the Olympic Aquatics Centre will host swimming, diving and synchronized swimming. This venue is currently being built for the 2020 Olympics and will keep with the tradition of the past few Games by increasing to a capacity of 20,000; 2,000 more than Rio’s swimming venue and 2,500 more than London’s.
Similarly to Tokyo, the 2016 Rio Games had two aquatic venues. The Maria Lenk Aquatic Center was built for the 2007 Pan American games and was the venue for synchronized swimming, diving and water polo group stages at the Rio Olympics. Swimming along with water polo finals were held in the Olympics Aquatic Stadium. This venue seated 18,000 people at full capacity; about 500 more than the London pool.
The 2012 London Olympics pool seated 17,500 people for the swimming and diving events and was then reduced to 5,000 for water polo. Unlike Tokyo and Rio, all Olympic aquatic events other than open water were held in the same venue. London had a new Olympic pool built specifically for all of the aquatic events at the 2012 Olympic Games, and while Rio and Tokyo built new aquatics centers as well, the decision was made for them to use two separate aquatic venues.
Tokyo will hold their open water competitions in Odaiba Marine Park. This area seats 5,000 people and has very calm waters. The 2012 open water competitions were held in a similar venue to Tokyo’s. Open water as well as triathlon competitions were held in Hyde Park, one of the Royal Parks in London. Similarly to Odaiba Marine Park, Hyde Park had calm waters that were relatively easy to swim in. By contrast, the open water competitions in Rio were held in Fort Copacabana. This area right off the beach had very choppy waters, making this a distinctly different venue from both the 2012 and 2020 Games.