Good news was brought to Tokyo, Japan as they won the bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. After the long campaign, the International Olympic Committee decided on Saturday through secret voting between potential candidates. Not a stranger to the production of this prestigious event, Tokyo hosted the 1964 Olympics. However, many questioned the current nuclear situation in Japan as a potential hazard.
Presenting the National Olympic Stadium of Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games. | Photo: Wiki Commons/ SWannasin
Top bidders of the 2020 Olympics included Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo. After an initial tie with Istanbul, Madrid was eliminated. Istanbul was one of the last candidates standing but was defeated 60-36 in the final round by Tokyo.
As one of the candidates that was in the lead during the beginning, Turkey began to fumble in the summertime around June after the government had a violent conflict with protesters. Istanbul may have faltered its chances to host the 2020 Olympics after the discovery of doping scandals of Turkish athletes, as well as the neighboring complications of Syria’s civil war.
For a majority of the campaign, Tokyo had taken extra precaution to defend and rebuild its reputation as a safe environment after the radioactive leak from the tsunami destroying the Fukushima nuclear plant.
“Let me assure you the situation is under control. It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo,” stated Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Maintenance at the Fukushima Nuclear PowerPlant in Tokyo. |Photo: Wiki Commons/Steve Herman
As Fukushima’s main operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. has openly admitted that a great amount of radioactive water has been released into the Pacific ocean from the plant for over 2 years. Since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Tokyo, 3 of its reactors in Fukushima have melted holes in tanks that stored radioactive water used to cool the reactors- now leaking into the soil and ocean with contamination, inevitably striking fear to many across the globe.
The aftermath of the 2011 tsunami at the Sany Pump in Fukushima Tokyo.| Photo: Wiki Commons/ Jorge Rodriguez
Despite the concerns of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Tokyo ensured that it is a safe and reliable choice during today’s questionable global political and economic stability.
Bid leader and IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda stated in the final presentation, “Tokyo can be trusted to be the safe pair of hands and much more. Our case today is simple. Vote for Tokyo and you vote for guaranteed delivery… Tokyo is the right partner at the right time.”
Celebration filled the streets of Tokyo after the announcement of the news at 5 a.m. Over 1,000 dignitaries and Olympic athletes celebrated the win in the convention hall of Tokyo with cheers of “Banzai”.