Pretty soon, on Feb. 8 to be exact, athletes from all over the globe will don their gear, put their game faces on, and begin competition in the 2018 Winter Olympics hosted in PyeongChang, South Korea. Though we're all really excited to watch some icy winter sports, the cold air has us dreaming about sunny skies, and warmer weather, and of course about where the 2020 Summer Olympics will be held.
Unfortunately, the warm weather is still a ways away — and so are the Summer Games — but a location has been confirmed! The 2020 Olympics are slated to take place in Tokyo, Japan from July 24 to Aug. 9.
The 2020 games will mark the second time that Tokyo has hosted the Olympics. Tokyo was first home to the games in 1964, which also marked the first time that the Olympics were held in Asia. According to the official Tokyo 2020 site, the next Olympics will be,
The most innovative ever organized, and will rest on three fundamental principles to transform the world: striving for your personal best (achieving your personal best); accepting one another (unity in diversity); and passing on a legacy for the future (connecting to tomorrow).
Tokyo even sent over 100-person delegation to PyeongChang 2018 to take some notes on hosting the Olympic games. Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya told Reuters, “This is a very important learning occasion for Tokyo 2020 staff members." Takaya continued,
We have been making a great effort in terms of making the preparations already but this has been done on a ‘table basis’. Now we are able to know how the operation would go on the ground, which will be a great asset for the games in the future.
Takaya also noted how important it is for Japan to make a strong showing in PyeongChang in order to build up momentum for 2020, especially for those sports fans watching at home.
To further the momentum and show how great Tokyo 2020 will, hopefully, turn out Japan opened the Tokyo 2020 Japan House in Tokyo, on Thursday, Feb. 8, bringing the PyeongChang fervor to Tokyo, according to Reuters. The Japan House will open to the public on Friday, Feb. 9 as the games get going in South Korea and also introduce visitors to the 2020 games.
But what's it all for? Well th Japan House brings cool and fun technology, which offers a unique experience for visitors, according to Reuters. For instance, one machine has cameras that will imprint your face onto a paper crane, while others make life-size avatars that can frolic through the streets of Tokyo. The Chief Operating Officer at Tokyo 2020 told Reuters,
PyeongChang will start this off and we expect this to be a huge success and that this baton can then be passed to Tokyo, so we inherit their enthusiasm and fervor.
While hype is still building, Tokyo 2020 is also in the process of picking their mascot for the games. PyeongChang will have Soohorang and Bandabi, but who will Tokyo have? The jury is still out.
In December 2017, Tokyo 2020 opened the vote for their Olympic and Paralympic mascots. Back in August 2017, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee started collecting entries for their mascot contest. After a process of making sure all the entries complied with formatting and design rules and narrowing down the entries, school children across Japan were invited to vote for the mascots. The voting will close on Feb. 22, and the winners will be unveiled on Feb. 28. I can't wait to see which two adorable characters they come up with this time.
So while you are enjoying the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, just remember that the Summer Games are around the corner (sorta), and get ready for Tokyo 2020.