Around 12,500 athletes from more than 200 nations are scheduled to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Games were originally planned to take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020. However, due to the outbreak of a new coronavirus pandemic, discussions about the feasibility of hosting them began as early as February 2020.
The official decision to postpone the Olympics by a year was made at the end of March 2020, after the Canadian National Olympic Committee announced that it would not send its athletes to the Games in 2020 due to the risk of the disease.
Programme, premiersa, participants
Competitions will take place at 42 venues (Rio 2016 used 37 arenas), 28 of which are located within an 8km radius of the Olympic Village. A total of 339 sets of Olympic medals in 41 sports will be contested.
Tokyo 2020 Medals
The 2020 Games will see the Olympic debut of karate, rock climbing, surfing and skateboarding. After a twelve-year hiatus, baseball returns, first unofficially introduced at the third Olympics of our time in 1904 and making its official debut at the Games in 1992, as does softball, last seen in Beijing in 2008.
The inclusion of these sports in the Tokyo 2020 programme was insisted upon by the hosts. In traditional sports, spectators will see Olympic competition in 3×3 basketball and BMX freestyle for the first time, as well as mixed relay events in swimming and track and field, mixed team events in judo, triathlon and archery. A total of 12,500 athletes from more than 205 countries are scheduled to compete in the Summer Olympics. The USA has the biggest team (613 athletes). Germany has 430 athletes in its national team.
Record number of doping samples
It is expected that a record number of doping samples of 5,000 will be collected from athletes at the 2020 Games. At Rio 2016, WADA collected 4,930 samples – both during the Games themselves and during the out-of-competition period. At the XXXII Olympic Games, samples will be collected by the International Testing Agency (ITA) with the assistance of the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA). A total of 250 doping officers and 700 support staff will be involved.
Record number of doping samples to be collected from athletes at 2020 Games
As explained by Benjamin Cohen, CEO of the ITA, Tokyo 2020 will test a new method to detect banned substances – Dried Blood Spot (DBS) – a few drops of blood will be taken and applied to a special absorbent paper, which greatly simplifies the transport and storage of the tests. However, the old ways of analysis with the collection of urine and blood will also be used.
The samples collected in Tokyo 2020 will be stored for up to 10 years in a central storage facility in Switzerland. According to WADA, this will allow experts to reanalyse them in the future, once new, more effective methods of detecting banned drugs become available.
On 21 July, two days before the start of the Games, 1,832 new cases of coronavirus infection were reported in Tokyo. This is the highest since mid-January 2021, Kyodo news agency reported. A level four state of emergency has been declared in the Japanese capital due to the spread of the coronavirus. The total number of positive tests for SARS-CoV-2 directly related to the Olympics was 79.