The city of Tokyo has been selected to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Gold tinsel rained down on the crowds gathered in Japan’s capital city to hear the announcement on Sunday. Thousands there cheered and chanted, “Tokyo! Tokyo!” in celebration.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its decision live from Buenos Aires, Argentina, after two rounds of voting. Tokyo beat out Istanbul, Turkey, by a vote of 60-36, after third-place finisher Madrid, Spain, was eliminated in the first round of voting on Saturday.
Tokyo described itself as a “safe pair of hands” in its application to host the 2020 Summer Games. The city, which was the site of the 1964 Summer Games, has proved it can manage the many moving parts required to stage successful Olympic events.
Architects will be designing new sports arenas, which will be added to the infrastructure—things like buildings, roads, and power supplies—that was built for the 1964 Olympics. Tokyo also already has an extremely efficient train system that will make travel easy and dependable for the thousands of athletes and spectators (viewers) who will converge on the city for the 2020 Games.
A NATION CELEBRATES
The 2020 Summer Olympics could be a big boost for Japan. The IOC’s selection of Tokyo is seen as a vote of international support for the country. Japan is still recovering from an earthquake, a tsunami (a series of huge, destructive waves), and a nuclear accident that devastated parts of the country two years ago.
Before the IOC’s final vote, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the IOC that the ongoing cleanup and containment efforts at the damaged nuclear plant, just 150 miles from Tokyo, would not in any way affect the 2020 Games.
Prime Minister Abe was overjoyed when Tokyo was chosen on Sunday.
“When I heard the name Tokyo, I was so touched, overwhelmed,” Abe said. “The joy was even greater than when I won my own election.”