RIO DE JANEIRO – The Rio 2016 Games have been played during the winter months in Brazil. Rather than scorching South American heat, many days during the events were breezy and somewhat chilly at times.
When the Summer Olympics move to Tokyo in 2020 … well, that’s a different season, and a different story.
“Certainly during the Tokyo Games, heat will be an important element in our situation,” said Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto, at a press conference in Rio on Saturday. “We have to ensure an environment for people on how to endure heat.”
The Summer Games are scheduled from July 24 through August 9, 2020. Temperatures in Japan around that time can sometimes reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Muto said that the organizers are keeping options open to combat that heat. “We will have a variety of counter-heat measures,” he said.
Some of those measures will be scientifically advanced, like an upgrade of “pavement technology” that can reduce surface temperatures. Then there are old-school alternatives, like spraying mist “over the venues” to keep fans and athletes cool. The organizers also said they plan “greeneries and planting trees” to create shady zones.
“In the next four years, we will have the utmost efforts in combating the heat,” Muto said.
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Other highlights from Tokyo’s presentation in Rio:
– Muto praised the IOC for bringing in five new sports for the 2020 Games, including karate, skateboarding and surfing. “We firmly believe the five new sports will connect the Games to a new generation,” he said.
– While the transportation situation here in Rio has been atrocious at times, there are issues for the 2020 Games as well. Lanes on roads are narrow. There has to be extra construction linking different throughways. As for congestion, the city have been instituting a plan to increase use of bicycles since 2014.
– The map for the Games:
– Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of New York City, which will obviously present some challenges for NBC, meaning more glorious tape delay coverage unless the 2020 organizers seriously fiddle with the times of events. Tsunekazu Takeda, president of the Japan Olympic Committee, said that there will be negotiations with networks in North America on these issues. “We want to be fair to the athletes. I’m hopeful that the athletes-first concept will prevail,” he said.
– Finally, Tokyo will be formally handed the keys to the Summer Games at Sunday’s Closing Ceremony.
“I hope the flag is not too heavy, but I have trained my muscles to handle it properly,” said Yuriko Koike, governor of Tokyo.
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As is tradition, there will be an artistic segment presented by the next host city to dazzle us with their art and culture, which of course led to an obvious question:
Will Pokemon Go be represented in the Closing Ceremonies?
“The contents of the artistic segment is something you have to wait for. I cannot disclose what we are going to show you. You can look forward to it,” said Muto.
So that’s a maybe, then?
Of course, Pikachu has already been caught in Rio on a TV network’s official pin:
Gold medal for cuteness right there. (via Rocket News)
Listen to Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski podcast from Rio on GRANDSTANDING, featuring a Ryan Lochte Controversy Edition with Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports and Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star!
Live from Rio: Ryan Lochte, international fugitive; the strange side of the Games: