Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tokyo to learn from Beijing in its 2016 Olympic bid

Tokyo is to get some technical experience from Beijing in its bid for the 2016 Summer Games, said Ichiro Kono, chairman of the city's Olympic bidding committee, on Friday.

Though specifics of technical learning is to be put into the Candidature File for the IOC in February 2009 and cannot be released prior to that, he was impressed by many ways of Beijing's organization, Kono told Xinhua.

"The extreme dedication of volunteers in Beijing left us strong impression," Kono said. "So many Chinese volunteered with the BOCOG to create a wonderful atmosphere and extremely successful Games."

"Tokyo 2016 will work to infuse that same sense of volunteerism among people from all over the country to demonstrate the warm hospitality of the Japanese and the devotion and passion that they hold for the Games," he added.

As one of the four candidate cities, Tokyo joined the Observer Program during both the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics.

"It was a precious experience for us. We were able to see BOCOG's exceptional operation first hand."

"For example, the whole transition on technical equipments and wheelchair seating arrangement from the Olympic phase to the Paralympics Games was absolutely excellent."

Other aspects that were extremely impressive to Kono and his group included the transportation provided for the press and the great care that went into making sure all the venues and facilities were complete and in the most pristine of conditions.

"The learning that we have gathered in Beijing are now being assessed by our own technical team," he said. "We will unite best practice of past Games with our excellent concept in order to provide the best possible conditions in Tokyo to Paralympians and Olympians alike."

Tokyo has mapped out a compact Olympic plan in the center of the city. All the venues, with the exception of shooting and football are within an eight-kilometer radius of the Olympic Stadium, which is located on the waterfront of Tokyo Bay.

Venues used for 1964 Games will also be refurnished for the 2016 Games. Of the 31 venues planned, 21 already exist, signifying a fine example of sustainability in Olympic history.

Tokyo also aims to avail the Olympics to carry out large-scale transformation of the city's environment. It already has a 10-yearaction plan laid out in 2006 to tackle growing environmental concerns, including regenerating reclaimed land and positioning Tokyo as a Carbon Minus city, etc.

"Being awarded the 2016 Olympic and Paralympics Games would provide an even greater catalyst for Tokyo, for Japan and for the world to make a real difference," Kono said.

In a recent IOC report, Tokyo ranked highest in six categories of seven Applicant Cities, including general infrastructure and accommodation. It was selected a Candidate City together with Madrid, Chicago and Rio de Janeiro.

The Host City of the Games will be announced at the 121st IOC Session to be held in Copenhagen in Denmark on October 2, 2009.

Source: Xinhua

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