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16 Jul 2011
Tokyo to bid for 2020 Olympic Games
Tokyo, Japan: Japan will try again to bring the Olympic Games back to Tokyo. At the centenary celebrations of the Japanese Olympic Committee on Saturday, JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda announced Tokyo’s intention to bid for the 2020 Olympic Games. The announcement met with cheers from the audience in the Pamir International Convention Centre and good luck messages from IOC President Jacques Rogge and OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.
Tokyo hosted the 1964 Olympic Games to complete the recovery from the devastation of World War II, and officials are hoping that this new bid – after missing out on 2016 - will unite the country and capture the hearts of the world following the earthquake and tsunami that hit the north-east coastline on March 11.
Sheikh Ahmad, a top-table VIP guest at the centenary celebration in the morning alongside IOC President Rogge, congratulated Japan on its bid at the more informal lunchtime reception.
“Earlier today, the IOC President Jacques Rogge said Japan was one of a few countries to host three editions of the Olympic Games. I hope soon you will say that Japan is one of the few countries to host four Olympic Games,” Sheikh Ahmad said, to thunderous applause in the hall.
“After the tsunami and earthquake, Japan is looking to recover and start again. I give congratulations to the organising committee and I wish always for the success of Japan and Tokyo. I will have another night without sleep on Sunday because Japan will be playing in the final of the Women’s World Cup, so good luck to the team and I hope they come back and hold up the cup.”
IOC President Rogge thanked the Japanese for the “wonderful day” and for what Japan had contributed to the Olympic movement over 100 years.
“Today we had the excellent news about the candidacy of Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games. The IOC is extremely happy to receive this, and we wish Tokyo good luck,” he said.
JOC President Takeda said Olympic officials had received all the necessary documents from Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara and, after an Executive Board meeting on Saturday morning, decided to go ahead with the bid for the 32nd edition of the Summer Olympics. The host city will be announced by the IOC in September 2013.
“It is my great pleasure that we can inform everyone of this news in the presence of IOC President Jacques Rogge, OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and many other people involved in sport,” said President Takeda.
“Tokyo held the Olympic Games in 1964 when we were recovering after the war, and it helped us achieve economic growth. Today Japan is recovering from the tsunami and earthquake and we would like to have the 2020 Olympics as a symbol of the recovery.”
The morning celebrations had been graced by the presence of the Emperor and Empress, His Majesty the Emperor addressing the audience with a brief history of Japanese sport.
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