Tokyo Olympics 2020-2021

Tokyo Olympics 2020-2021

The Tokyo Olympics (Olympics 2021, Tokyo 2020) will kick off on the 23rd of July 2021 and continue until the 8th of August 2021. The Japan Olympics 2020 is unique as it will be the first time in the history of the Modern Olympics that the Games have been postponed and not canceled entirely. Furthermore, this will be the first modern Olympics to take place in an odd-numbered year.

HACHIOJI, JAPAN - APRIL 14: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games mascot Miraitowa poses with the Olympic Symbol after unveiling ceremony on Mt. Takao to mark 100 days before the start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on April 14, 2021 in Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon - Pool/Getty Images)

Previous Summer Olympics to be postponed include the 1916 Berlin and the 1940 Tokyo/Helsinki, 1944 United Kingdom. The aforementioned editions were scrapped because of the outbreak of the two World Wars. 

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Olympics History

The Olympics are the biggest sporting extravaganza in the world and fans consider it as a celebration of sport. A concept in Ancient Greece, the Games served as a spectacle of competition among the Greek City-States in honor of Zeus. 

With time, the games died away, but the concept remained. It provided inspiration to Pierre de Coubertin (father of Modern Olympics). He was responsible for the revival of the games after centuries. Following his proposal at the 1894 Olympic Congress at Sorbonne University, the Games were reborn. 

What began as a rekindling of an age-old tradition at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens in 1896 (the first Olympics), has swollen up from a participation number of 241 to a whopping 11,238 in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The number is expected to be significantly higher at the 2021 Olympics i.e. Tokyo 2020 with over 11,000 athletes expected to descend upon The Land of The Rising Sun in July 2021. 

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 03: A general view of the new National Stadium prior to a media tour of Tokyo 2020 Olympic venues on July 03, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

The 2020 Games will be the sixth time that a single nation will have hosted the Summer Olympics for a second time. The other countries include Greece (1896, 2004), the USA (1904, 1932, 1984, 1996), Germany (1936, 1972), Australia (1956, 2000), United Kingdom (1908, 1948, 2012). Hence, Tokyo 2020 (also the host of the 1964 games) will be the first time an Asian country will play host to the sporting extravaganza for the second time. 

What do the Olympic Rings represent?

The of five rings, three up and two down, is an iconic image. People all over the world recognize it as the Olympic logo. However, like all symbols, this symbol, too, has a deep meaning behind its structure and colors. Pierre de Coubertin created this symbol.

Each ring represents one of the five continents on Earth, from where the best sportspersons come to compete against their peers in a competition to be Faster, Higher and Stronger (Citius, Altius, Fortius) - The Olympic Motto. The rings overlap each other, which symbolizes the union of athletes from different parts of the world. Fans can see this principle in the closing ceremony where all the athletes and countries walk as one.

Rio , Brazil - 21 August 2016; A general view of the flag parade during the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

 The colors of each ring (red, green, blue, yellow, black) and the white background represent a hue of a flag of every single nation across the planet. 

Another important symbol of the Games is the Flame. Lit in Greece, it then gets handed over to the next host nation for the Olympic relay. This ends at the opening ceremony of the Games with the fire burning for the duration of the competition.

At Tokyo 2020, the flame will not burn within the Olympic Stadium during the Olympiad. Over the course of the Games, in between the opening and closing ceremonies, it will burn at a cauldron near the Ariake side on Yume-no-Ohashi Bridge at the Tokyo waterfront

What sports do the Olympics 2021 host?

Tokyo 2020 will host a whopping 33 Olympic sports (50 disciplines). The Japan Olympics will see the return of sports like baseball and softball. Furthermore, disciplines like Karate, Sport Climbing, Surfing, and Skateboarding will debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympiad. 

These disciplines join established ones like athletics, aquatics, cycling, fencing, and gymnastics that have been there right from the 1896 Athens Games. 

Besides this, disciplines like Golf and Rugby Sevens will continue after having been introduced in Rio. Other disciplines on display at Olympics 2021 include sports like Tennis, Volleyball, Boxing, Taekwondo, Wrestling, Weightlifting, Boxing, Badminton, Triathlon, Basketball, Field Hockey, Table Tennis, Rowing, Modern Pentathlon, Football, Sailing, Judo, Shooting, Canoeing, Volleyball, and Equestrian.

The Olympics 2021 will see a record (339) of medals up for grabs across 16 days.

All the medals that will be awarded at the Olympics 2021 will come from used small metal devices collected from across Japan. This project, the 'Tokyo 2020 Medal Project', was an initiative to involve the citizens in creating medals through recycled metal.

Where are the 2021 Olympics held?

The 2021 Olympics a.k.a. Tokyo 2020 will take place in Japan. The organizers will hold certain events in other cities, but a bulk of the Olympic locations are in the capital city. Tokyo's Japan National Stadium will host the track and field and the opening and closing ceremonies. The other cities set to hold events include Saitama, Sagami Bay, Yokohama, Shizuoka, Fukushima, Fuji, Chiba, and Sapporo. 

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 24: The gold medal is displayed after the Tokyo 2020 medal design unveiling ceremony during Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games "One Year To Go" ceremony at Tokyo International Forum on July 24, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

The Olympics in 2021 will be unique as they will unfold amid a world reeling and recovering from the global pandemic. Considering this, international fans cannot make their way to Japan during the Olympics. The next Olympics will take place in France in 2024. 

Summer Olympics

The Summer Olympic games live up to their nickname and take place in the summer months of the respective host country. Certain exceptions are Tokyo (1964) and Rio (2016) which were held in the host nation's traditional winter months. The Japan Olympics will be the 32nd edition of the modern Olympiad. 19 different countries across five different continents have held the Summer Olympics. 

Out of the 205 nations expected to compete at this year's Games, only five countries have held the distinction of having sent a delegation to every single summer meet. They are Greece, Australia, France, United Kingdom, and Switzerland. 

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Gold medalist Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's 200m Individual Medley Final on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

The most decorated Olympian in the Summer Olympics is the American swimmer, Michael Phelps, who claimed a whopping 27 medals across four games i.e. Athens, Beijing, London, and Rio (23 Gold, 3 Silver, and 2 Bronze). He will not be competing at the Olympics 2021.

Despite missing out on the 1980 Games in the Soviet Union, the USA has claimed the most medals in Olympics history.

Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics are usually held two years after and before each edition of the Summer Olympics. This practice began with the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Previously, from 1924 to 1992, the Winter Olympics and the Summer Games took place in the same year. 

The previous winter games, the final quadrennial meet before the coronavirus, went down in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018. The next edition of the Games will take place in Beijing in 2022 i.e. the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

Number of countries competing at the Olympics 2021

The Summer Olympics 2021 (Tokyo 2020) will see 205 nations competing. The Japanese alphabet will determine their order at the Olympics parade of nations, with Greece making its way out first and the hosts, Japan, last. 

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 05: The Olympic Refugee team enter the atheletes parade during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The number 205 will be a decrease from the 206 nations present for Rio 2016. The missing nation is Russia whose athletes will compete under the (ROC flag)

Where to watch the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?

Because of the ban on fans from outside of Japan at the Olympics 2021, there will be record TV and streaming audiences for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. 

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Fans in the US can catch the Olympics 2021 on the official broadcaster NBC and its streaming platform Peacock TV. Olympic enthusiasts from across the pond can catch their stars in action on BBC iPlayer. Across Europe, fans can catch their stars in action by streaming on the Eurosport. Fans in the Indian subcontinent can catch the Olympics 2021 on Sony Liv.

HIGASHIMATSUSHIMA, JAPAN - MARCH 20: Olympic gold medalists Tadahiro Nomura (R) and Saori Yoshida (L) light the Olympic flame during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Flame Arrival Ceremony at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force Matsushima Air Base on March 20, 2020 in Higashimatsushima, Miyagi, Japan. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

Canadian fans can catch their favorite athletes in action on TSN. Also, if you are in Canada, you can watch it on television on Sportsnet and TLN. Fans Down Under will have a dedicated channel. Fans Down Under can catch the Games on Channel 7.

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Date 7/23/21- 8/8/21
LocationTokyo, Japan
Olympic Venue Japan National Stadium, (Olympic Stadium)
Total Countries205
Live Streaming Peacock TV (US), BBC iPlayer (UK), Eurosport Player (Europe), TSN (Canada), Channel 7 (Australia), Sony LIV (India)
Total Sports33 sports with 50 disciplines