The Olympic flag has arrived in Tokyo, the host city of the next Olympic games in 2020.
The flag arrived at the Haneda International Airport in Tokyo on Wednesday together with Japan’s 2016 Olympic team on board an All Nippon Airline.
Japanese decathlete Keisuke Ushiro who was the flag bearer for Japan at the games, carried the country’s Olympic flag while Tokyo’s Governor Yuriko Koike carried the Olympic flag as they descended from the plane and to cheers from people holding miniature Japanese flags on the tarmac.
Let's work together with everyone to hold a great Olympics and Paralymics as the Olympic flag, which just arrived, is a symbol of
The Olympic flag was handed over to Yuriko Koike at the closing ceremony of the 31st Olympiad in Rio by the city’s Mayor, Eduardo Paes.
The 2020 games will be the first time Japan will host the global multi-sports events since 1964.
Japan’s preparations for the 2020 Olympic games however appear to have been dogged by a series of setbacks including the scrapping of plans for the main stadium and allegations of plagiarism which have led to the abandonment of the original logo for the games.
Construction work on the main stadium is yet to begin even as the countdown has already began for the games which will hold from July 24 to August 9, 2020.
Fully aware of the burden of getting her city ready for the summer games, Yuriko Koike remarked that the Olympic flag “seems heavy” adding that “I feel the full weight of the responsibility it entails”.
She however expressed her “delight” to bring the Olympic flag to Japan again “more than 50 years after the 1964 Olympics”.
“Let’s work together with everyone to hold a great Olympics and Paralymics as the Olympic flag, which just arrived, is a symbol of,” she urged the Japanese public.
Japan finished sixth on the medal table at the Rio games with a total of 41 medals made up of 12 gold, 8 silver and 21 bronze medals. This is 3 more medals than the 38 they scooped at the London games in 2012 where they finished eleventh on the medal table. Then they managed 7 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze medals.
Five new sports including karate, skateboarding and surfing have been added to the 2020 Olympics.