Tokyo has won the bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games, beating out Istanbul and Madrid. Bloomberg reports:
The Japanese capital was the bookmakers’ favorite leading into this weekend’s meeting of International Olympic Committee members in Buenos Aires, and defeated Madrid and Istanbul today in a vote by the IOC. Madrid was eliminated in a first round of voting after tying for second place with Istanbul, setting up the final vote won by Tokyo.
The winning bid to stage sports’ biggest event came on the city’s second straight attempt. While a lack of public enthusiasm doomed its bid for the 2016 Olympics, a March survey found 70 percent of Tokyo residents were in support this time. The government also billed the Olympics as a way to help Japan recover from a 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.
Parliament passed two motions in favor of the bid and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe broke into song during a March presentation to the IOC’s evaluation panel in which he said hosting the event was a long-held dream.
“Choose Tokyo today and you choose a nation that is a passionate, proud, and a strong believer in the Olympic movement,” Abe said in today’s final presentation. He was joined on stage by Princess Takamado, the first member of the Japanese Imperial family to address the IOC.
The Japanese capital, now festooned with the bid’s cherry-blossom logo, has emphasized merits such as financial stability, safety, cleanliness and convenience. Tokyo has put aside 408.8 billion yen ($4.1 billion) for building and upgrading facilities. Tokyo’s flagship project is the futuristic 80,000-seat National Stadium designed by London-based Pritzker Prize-winner Zaha Hadid, which will be built on the site of the 1964 Tokyo Games, an event seen as re-launching Japan on the world stage after World War II.
I will make it to Tokyo before 2020, but the Olympic Games there sound like a repeat visit would be in order…