The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is right around the corner, and athletes around the world are preparing for the biggest stage in sports. Whether traveling overseas to see the events in person or watching them on TV, there’s nothing quite like the Olympics when it comes to competition.
Where are the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
The 2020 games are taking place in Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo hosted the Olympics one other time in 1964, beating out Istanbul, Turkey, and Madrid, Spain for the opportunity to do so again. With a rich history, Tokyo is sure to put on an excellent show.
The new 68,000-person National Stadium is currently being rebuilt on the site of the original games from 56 years ago. Located in the Heritage Zone of Tokyo’s Shinjuku District, architect Kengo Kuma oversaw the stadium’s design. He took inspiration from Edo-period temples while developing the facilities.
Aside from the main stadium, 40 other venues are working tirelessly in the months before the games to prepare for events. From basketball to tennis matches, ping pong to handball, the Olympics require facilities unlike any other. The city of Tokyo must build new venues and prepare established ones to accommodate every sport and everyone.
When are the 2020 Olympics?
The 2020 Olympics will kick off at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium on July 24, 2020 — with a sure-to-be-spectacular ceremony — and extend over the next two weeks. The closing ceremonies will take place on August 9, with hundreds of events sandwiched in between on NBC and its sister networks.
How can I go to the Olympics?
Olympic tickets can be surprisingly hard to come across if you are not a resident of Japan. About 70% of the tickets are reserved for Japanese natives — they get the first shot at admission. Prices for the events vary depending on the popularity and availability. Some tickets come in as low as $18. Most events, however, sell for much higher.
A basketball game, for example, could cost an American sports fan $300. The opening or closing ceremonies can cost upwards of $2,000, while the men’s 100-meter final will run over $1,000.
Anybody planning on going to the games for a long period of time can expect at least four figures in expenses, not counting food and travel. For those who can make it, however, the memories might last a lifetime.
Are there any new sports?
With track, swimming, basketball, and other sports returning, several new competitions might pique interest across the world. As the largest overseas market for baseball, Japanese baseball fans can look forward to the return of softball and baseball on a trial basis. Surprisingly, Karate is making its debut 2020 games; Kumite and Kata competitions will judge athletes on their form and technique.
Extreme sports fans will also be well-represented in the Summer Games, with skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing all debuting this year. The events are sure to be exciting. However, without a long-term guarantee on any of them, their overall place in the games is still in question past 2020.
Who is competing?
All of the countries one would expect to compete in the Olympics will be there with one exception. The IOC banned the Russians from competing as a nation.
Several Russian athletes are welcome to perform as independent Olympians without a country behind them. This is a result of a four-year ban after several Russian Federation athletes were found to be doping in an operation that reached the highest levels.
As far as individual athletes go, many big names are already rumored and confirmed. Tennis fans expect Venus and Serena Williams to try out for the U.S. women’s tennis team. Gymnast Simone Biles and swimmer Katie Ledecky hope to extend the success they achieved in the 2016 games. After a disappointing 2019 World Championship, the typically-stacked Team USA basketball team could be devoid of actual stars, however.
By August, unknown athletes will rise from their countries across the world to become household names. This may be what people like most about the Olympics. With so much time, money, and years of preparation for a shot at glory, the 2020 Olympic Games could be a legendary addition to the most famous competition in sports.