It was no competition. The IOC learned the hard way in Sochi that corruption, infrastructure costs, and conflict don't make the games any better. Japan was the most buttoned-up host they could find.
Tokyo will be the host city of the 2020 Olympic Games, announced Jacques Rogges, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), this afternoon in Buenos Aires.
Tokyo beat out Istanbul and Madrid as well as Rome, Doha, and Baku in Azerbaijan who participated in the first phase of the bid process. The candidate cities were involved in a two-year process during which the final three participants filled out applications, outlined the blueprint of their Olympic projects, and hosted the IOC Evaluation Commission.
Earlier today in Buenos Aires, each city made a 45-minute presentation in front of the IOC Session. The IOC members eliminated Madrid before voting between Tokyo and Istanbul. It was the third consecutive bid that Madrid lost.
Why Tokyo Won
Tokyo was believed to the commission’s favorite leading up to today’s vote. It is the safest choice in comparison to Istanbul, where development hurdles and regional conflicts could scare away the IOC, and Madrid, which is still in the turmoil of Europe’s recession.
Tokyo’s bid focused on the “power of sport” and saw the Olympics serving as symbol of hope following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The IOC made a logical decision in picking Tokyo. There is little economic risk for the city. The only uncertainty involved is the city’s susceptibility to natural disasters, which could impact infrastructure prior to the 2020 games.
In an effort to quell any concerns over radiation levels, Tokyo set up an an English website to show radiation levels across the city.
Tokyo also already has 20 corporate sponsors lined up, which likely helped it secure the bid.
Tokyo hosted the games once before in 1964.
What Twitter Says
Here are some of the reactions from Twitter:
Alright Tokyo! Are you ready? Please welcome the 2020 Olympics! http://t.co/Im0QzXSPZF
— Jason Hirschhorn (@JasonHirschhorn) September 7, 2013
Maybe none of this matters and it all comes down to bribes. Olympic Games: IOC report shows "decades of bribery" http://t.co/Uf9ABbPTmJ
— Hiroko Tabuchi (@HirokoTabuchi) September 7, 2013
It wasn't a contest, Tokyo won big RT @iocmedia #BA2013 voting results final round #olympics2020 pic.twitter.com/oSJxocM276
— Rafat Ali (@rafat) September 7, 2013
Just to remind everyone, Tokyo received the 2020 Olympics in the movie "Akira." Otomo Katsuhiro called it 30 years ago.
— Brett Fujioka (@Brett_Fujioka) September 7, 2013
Here's a poster for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics created by Yusaku Kamekura. pic.twitter.com/Vdion59VCF
— Meredith Frost (@MeredithFrost) September 7, 2013
Other Olympics coverage on Skift:
- Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo Patiently Wait for Tomorrow’s Olympic Decision
- This Weekend’s Olympic Committee Meeting Is Packed With Big Decisions
- Olympic Organizers Visit Brazil to Ensure Development Stays on Track
- Tokyo Tourism Companies See Stocks Rise Before Olympics Announcement
- Vladimir Putin Declares ‘Forbidden Zone’ Around Sochi Olympic Resort
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Tags: istanbul, madrid, olympics, tokyo
Photo credit: This artist rendering released by Japan Sport Council shows the new National Stadium, which will become the main venue for the 2020 Summer Olympics if Tokyo is chosen as the host city in the International Olympic Committee voting in Argentina Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. 104258 / 104258