Summer Olympics 2020

Tokyo and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agree: The Olympics take place. For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, however, outside the usual four-year rhythm. Due to the Corona pandemic, the Olympic Games are not held from 24 July to 9 August 2020 as originally planned. Instead, the major event, which has the motto "United by Emotion", has been postponed by almost exactly one year. So in 2021, the Summer Olympics kicked off with the opening ceremony on July 23 and will end on August 8. The Paralympics are scheduled from August 24 to September 5, 2021.

Tokyo is ready

Despite all the doubts of the population, extensive concepts for the realization of the games were developed despite the pandemic. Among other things, no foreign spectators are planned for the competitions. In addition, a comprehensive hygiene concept for all athletes and people involved has been developed. The organizers have worked intensively on various scenarios for holding the Games in the summer of 2021 and many restrictions and rules for a smooth process have already been determined.

Expensive games: Only Beijing paid more for Summer Games

The corona-related postponement of the Olympic Games and the cost explosion due to additionally required protective measures make the event one of the most expensive ever: according to a report by tagesschau.de, the Games in Tokyo now cost 30 billion US dollars. More than the past two Summer Games in Rio 2016 ($14.4 billion) and London 2012 ($14.6 billion) combined, and significantly more than the $7.5 billion originally budgeted.

Among the Summer Games, only Beijing 2008 was more expensive, costing $45 billion. However, the most expensive Olympics ever were held in the winter of 2014 in Sochi, Russia: the event on the Black Sea coast cost $51 billion.

Naomi Osaka: Face of the 2020 Olympics

Hardly any sportswoman is as popular in Japan as 23-year-old Naomi Osaka. No wonder that the tennis player has become the face of the Tokyo Olympics. In early 2020, Olympic organizers released a commercial featuring Osaka as the protagonist. "We are all different, yet so similar," the tennis ace says in it. "We find what we need to get over what separates us." Because through the Olympics, she says, we are all "united in emotion."

The highlight of the Osaka Mania then at the opening of the Games: The tennis player was given the honor of lighting the Olympic Flame at the opening ceremony.

New year, five new sports

As many as five new sports have made it to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. "We want to bring sports to the youth," said Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee. "With the many options young people have today, we can no longer expect them to automatically come to us." The following five newcomers, will be in Tokyo for the first time (again), opening up the Olympics to a younger, hipper demographic.

Heimana Reynolds from the USA is currently one of the world's best skateboarders.

1. first skate park at Olympia

Skateboarding at the Olympics - curse or blessing? There is a fear in the scene that the Olympics could take away freedom and style from the sport amidst other dusty sports. However, some skateboarders see it as an opportunity to gain even more respect on a big stage. More than 80 female and male skateboarders will be showing off their tricks and moves in the park and street disciplines at the Olympics.
"I think skateboarding would unleash the same, youthful energy and growth for the Olympics that snowboarding did for the Winter Games. If they want to get the average age of TV viewers under 50, they need something like skateboarding," said pro skateboarder Tony Hawk.

Adam Ondra is one of the world's best climbers.

2. new discipline: sport climbing

For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, the discipline of sport climbing will also be represented. An individual competition for both women and men is planned, which will take place from 3 to 6 August 2021. The competition will be held as an "Olympic combination" and will consist of two rounds, composed of the disciplines of speed climbing, bouldering and difficulty climbing. The number of participants will be limited to 20 per gender (max. two participants per nation), with the six athletes who qualified in the first round competing against each other in the final round. Professional climber Adam Ondra is considered one of the top favourites.

For the first time, karate is a part of the Olympic Games.

3.karate gives intermezzo

Karate, so popular in Japan, will give an intermezzo - with a total of 8 medal decisions. However, whether karate will remain an Olympic discipline in the longer term is yet to be determined. For decades, karateka have fought for inclusion in the Olympic Games. Even though the future of the Olympics is uncertain, there was great jubilation when they learned in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 that they had been accepted for Tokyo.

Baseball - or the women's alternative softball - is just as popular as karate in Japan. In 2020, the sport becomes for the first time Olympic.

4.baseball and softball

Similarly popular as the martial art karate are baseball among the men and the women's alternative softball in Japan, which will also be included in the programme at least once. So for the time being the baseball players have made it, but whether they will be allowed to remain Olympians in the long term remains to be seen, as with karate. Incidentally, baseball and softball are celebrating a comeback: these two sports were already Olympic in 2008.

Surfing will have its Olympic premiere at the 2020 Olympic Games.

5. surfing at the olympics

Surfing is also an Olympic event for the first time. The surfing competitions will take place at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach in Ichinomiya, about 65 kilometers outside Tokyo. This year's Summer Olympics are aimed at a younger audience, and the world's best surfers will of course be there. By the way, the exact date of the competitions has not yet been determined, as is the case with other sports, but will depend on the wind conditions.

The Olympic Games through the ages

As young and modern as the Summer Olympics in Tokyo are supposed to be, their origins go back in time: in 776 BC, the first Olympic Games of antiquity were held. The ancient Greeks also focused on athletic competitions, but above all the games were a religious festival in honor of the gods. The games were held in Olympia, the site of one of the largest temples of Zeus in Greece, which was already famous in ancient times for its magnificent temple complex.
The ancient Olympic Games held an important place in the lives of the ancient Greeks. The Olympics were a time of unification, held at four-year intervals, just as they are today. Participants came from all corners of the Greek world to compete for the ultimate prize: an olive wreath, return to their city-states as heroes, and immortal glory. At the beginning of the Ancient Olympics, only one running event was held, but over time, other sports and disciplines were added. In total, 20 different sports were held over several days, and the winners of the games were admired and immortalized statues.
The purpose of the Olympic Games was on the one hand to demonstrate the physical qualities of the participants, but of just as great importance were the games from a political point of view, they served to strengthen the relationship between the various Greek cities.

In addition to victory, it was the Olympic values themselves that gave the Games special meaning - noble competition and the effort to combine body, mind and will into a balanced whole.
In the course of the centuries not only other sports were added, but also the procedures and organization of the Olympic Games developed further. For example, a uniform schedule of the events was introduced and with the Olympic Truce an agreement was concluded which was supposed to guarantee the safe execution of the games by a truce of several months. The games took place for almost 12 centuries until the Roman Emperor Theodosius banned them in 393 AD. The Olympic Games were revived by French baron Pierre de Coubertin in the late 19th century. The Olympic Games, also known as the Summer Olympics, have been held every four years since 1896, with the exception of the years during the World Wars. In 1924, the Winter Olympics, the event for winter sports, was held for the first time. For the ancient Greeks, the Olympics were still a men-only competition, and it wasn't until 1900 that women were allowed to compete.

Why the 2020 Olympics will be so special

In addition to the new sports that will be included in the program for the first time at the 2021 Olympics, there are other news that will make the Summer Games in Tokyo particularly exciting. In line with the motto "United by Emotion", a transgender athlete will also take part in the Olympic competitions for the first time. In addition, the IOC has decided to include eSports in the programme of the Summer Olympics from 23 July to 08 August 2021 with the launch of the Olympic Virtual Series (OSV).

Transgender at the Olympics

History will be made on 2 August 2021! On that Monday, the women's final over 87 kilograms in weightlifting will take place in Tokyo - and most likely with an absolute novelty in sports history. Laurel Hubbard could be the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the Olympic Games. On June 21, the New Zealand National Olympic Committee (NZOC) nominated the weightlifter for the Tokyo Games.

Laurel Hubbard at Olympia

Premiere for eSports at the Olympics

From its former niche existence, eSports has now developed into a mass phenomenon. Every day, an audience of millions follows what is happening in the eSports scene via livestream or in sold-out stadiums. The players, also called gamers or streamers, have to train hard for the games. In order to win a competition, they have to perform at their mental as well as physical best, which is why eSports is now considered a recognized sport. Even the International Olympic Committee decided to include the sport in the program at the Summer Olympics. The launch of the Olympic Virtual Series (OSV) is an attempt to mobilize virtual sports, eSports and gaming enthusiasts around the world.

Insights on the topic of eSports

"I can't just sit still!"

A few weeks before the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, professional tuner Simone Biles crowns herself US champion. The four-time Olympic champion from 2016 in Rio de Janeiro won the all-around at the US Championships in Texas with an incredible 59.550 points. The pandemic and the resulting postponement of the 2020 Olympics was a major blow to the gymnast, who is not used to just doing nothing and sitting at home. Biles is back in top form, however, and is aiming for what is now her fifth Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.