DAVID PYE: Olympics will be hi-tech in land of the rising fun
11:00pm Friday 13th September 2013 in Sport
IT may only be just over a year since the London Olympics but this week another capital city was getting the news it would be hosting a future games.
The decision to hand the 2020 event to Tokyo saw scenes of jubilation around the Japanese bid team and brought back memories of those scenes in Singapore eight years ago when we watched the name of London rise from the golden IOC envelope.
Much is often made of the cost of staging an Olympic Games and the huge debt that can be left once the likes of Usain Bolt and Mo Farah have left the athletes village, but it remains an honour the cities and countries of the world still hold dear as those joyous scenes in Buenos Aires illustrated.
You just have to look at the attempts by Madrid, now unsuccessful on three consecutive occasions, to be the ones to welcome the world’s athletes.
Istanbul were the other city to miss out when Jacques Rogge announced the winner for the last time as IOC president before handing the baton over to German Thomas Bach and it was not a decision that surprised me.
Whereas the football World Cup has only recently begun to branch out across the globe after years of alternating between Europe and South America, the Olympics have always been a worldwide event.
And after London and Rio in 2016, it was always likely to head to Asia and to Tokyo for the second time in 56 years.
So what will be the 2020 vision for the Land of the Rising Sun? Well, having been fortunate to have visited the Japanese capital on three occasions, I think it will be a Games to remember.
Not only is it heading to one of the cleanest and safest cities on the planet, it will also benefit from the state-of-the-art technology the country is synonymous with.
From the land of the Playstation and Wii, we can expect an opening ceremony filled with bright lights and the latest computer generated imagery at the very least.
Of course, the climate will be a concern with humidity always intense in the Far East in the summer but there is flexibility as was proven when the Sydney Games were shunted back a couple of months in 2000.
There will not be the furore surrounding the Olympics like there currently is with the World Cup two years later in Qatar – at least not until a Middle East city gets the nod from the IOC and that will surely come in the near future with so many developing cities in that part of the world.
The likes of Abu-Dhabi now have a place on the F1 calendar as well as a foothold in the Premier League at Manchester City and money keeps being pumped into to sporting facilities.
For now, though, we can look forward to Rio and then Tokyo and with wrestling back in the mix for 2020, let’s just be glad Sumo is not a part of it.
Now that would be no contest for gold.