First NOC Open Days in Tokyo highlight the City’s Games readiness
Tokyo 2020 concluded its first National Olympic Committee (NOC) Open Days event on 7th February, hosting delegations from 13 NOCs. Their visit was aimed at reviewing the progress made in preparations for the Games and ensuring the best possible conditions are made available for the athletes during the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Thirty-two NOC members from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands and New Zealand participated in the three-day visit.
Tokyo 2020 sees the NOC and NPC visits as a means of achieving its goal of adopting an athletes-first approach in every aspect of the Games’ preparations, contributing as they do towards a constructive dialogue with the Olympic and Paralympic Families.
During the site visits, representatives from each NOC shared their experience and observations, and praised the preparations of the Games, as well as a fantastic setting that Tokyo as a city provides for a perfect athlete and spectator experience.
Luke Pellegrini, Acting General Manager for Games Support and Operations at the Australian Olympic Committee, said:
We are really pleasantly surprised. Something that was very impressive was the locations of the Olympic Village and the Olympic Stadium. They are in downtown. That is incredible and that will be a fantastic experience for our athletes, our officials, our fans. The location of the clusters of venues is fantastic. That was really impressive on the tour, just how accessible Tokyo as a city is to this Games.
Gert Van Looy, Games Manager of the Belgium Olympic Committee, said:
It was a very good day. We saw various competition and training sites, as well as the Olympic Village. I have to say, it looks really good; it seems to be moving forward and there are great facilities.
Gustavo Harada, Games and International Operations General Manager of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, said:
It was very interesting to get to know more details about the concept of the venue distribution here in Tokyo. The Heritage Zone is very interesting with the 1964 venues from the past Olympic Games which are still very iconic. And when you go back to the bay area, you can see the modern side of Japan, and this whole scenery by the water will be very interesting and will create a very positive climate for the athletes. And I’m sure they will enjoy very much.
Melissa Dowling, Games Manager of the Canadian Olympic Committee, said:
I think, for the spectators, it is going to be a great city. There’s going to be a lot of entertainment, there’s a lot of things to do, cultural experiences that they can undertake. They are definitely not going to be bored in the city of Tokyo.
Niels Nigaard, President of the Denmark Olympic Committee, said:
I am very impressed with all what we are seeing here. It seems like things are very well organised and will be ready in due time for the Games in 2020. For what I have seen so far, it looks great. I think for the Athletes’ Village just in the centre of the city will be fantastic.
Beat Wachter, Secretary General of Liechtenstein Olympic Committee, said:
It is always a bit special for small delegations because we have other problems than the bigger ones have. And I think you can discuss with this Organising Committee. They’re really open and they try to help and to find creative solutions.
Heinz Thews, Sport Director of the Luxembourg Olympic Committee, said:
From what we see now, and the planning and the outlay, I think it could be a fantastic Games. The Village promises a lot even if they are just starting to build it. In my opinion, it’s a perfect location for the Village. Transport is always an issue at the Games and I think we have the feeling they will manage it very well.
Maurits Hendriks, Performance Director and Chef de Mission of the Netherlands Olympic Committee, said:
It’s amazing! The whole concept of heritage venues and new venues is superb. Also, the state of the 1964 venues is actually impressive. And I think the whole zone around the Olympic Village is going to have a tremendous atmosphere. So, it’s a beautiful balance, being in the city and being in the bay, having existing and new venues. That all look like it’s going to be in a perfect shape.
Main image shows delegations from the NOCs at the Tokyo Stadium. Courtesy: Tokyo 2020
NB: We will be bringing you an Industry Interview with Tokyo 2020 spokesperson, Hikariko Ono, in the coming days.