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Tokyo marks one year to go until Olympics

TOKYO, Jul 23 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/23/2020 9:53:29 AM IST

As Tokyo marked one year to go until the Olympics for the second time on Thursday, it was perhaps fitting that the newly-built National Stadium, intended to be the iconic symbol of the Games, was hit by a torrential downpour for most of the day.

The Olympics were due to begin on Friday with an extravagant opening ceremony in the National Stadium but the Games have instead been delayed until July 23, 2021 because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach presided over a glitzy ceremony to mark the occasion in the Japanese capital and declared Tokyo the best prepared host city he had ever seen. This time around the atmosphere is much more subdued, with Tokyo 2020 set to host a minor 15-minute event in the National Stadium without fans, where they will launch a commemorative video. People gathering around the countdown clock at Tokyo station were optimistic about the Games next year.

Thursday’s small ceremony is a sign of things to come in the lead-up to the Games next year.

The head of the IOC’s Coordination Commission John Coates has said rearranging the Games meant focusing on the “must haves” in a simplified event.


-Tags:#Olympics

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