Tokyo 2020 +1 | An Eventful Life

Tokyo 2020 +1

    Photo courtesy Tokyo 2020



On 23rd July 2020, the day that the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020), should have commenced, the Opening Ceremony that would have wowed the world did not take place   

Instead Tokyo 2020 released a video containing messages of support for all athletes working toward next year’s Games. It was shown on the main screen at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo at 20:00 local time - the date and time that the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will take place next year.

Tokyo 2020’s vision is that sport has the power to change the world and our future, and to bring people around the world together. Athletes are the stars of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the presence of athletes―gathering from all over the world, competing fairly, performing at their best, expressing mutual respect—will highlight afresh the best of sport and the kind of society the Games can help to create.

Tokyo 2020 says that “The messages in the video released today evoke the excitement of the Games and express support for all athletes who are striving every day to adapt to the “new normal”. They express Tokyo 2020’s determination to keep a beacon of hope alight until sports activities can resume as normal. The video also expresses gratitude and respect for all those who are providing medical support and social care during these hard times. The video message highlights the one step forward we are taking, full of hope, one year prior to next year’s Games”

The Organising Committee adds that it ‘hopes that the postponed Games will see athletes overcome their own limits, and in doing so inspire and encourage people around the world. In the meantime, we will continue to make every effort to prepare for a safe and secure Games in 2021”

The video features Ikee Rikako, who made her Olympics debut at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games at the age of 16. Winner of six gold medals at the 2018 Asian Games, Ikee is hoping to be one of Japan’s stars in Tokyo in 2021, having returned to training after March after battling leukemia

“Imagine the world in a year: a world where the curtain is set to rise on the Olympic and Paralympic Games” says Ikee

“Think of the coming year not simply as a one year postponement, but as a +1”

“To overcome adversity what we need most of all is hope”


“When I was asked to take part in the video, I wondered if I was the right person for this occasion. I was not sure if I would be able to live up to such a role, but as discussions progressed, I realised I might not get a chance like this again, and I was very excited to accept” the swimmer admitted

The second run at 'One Year To Go' with Tokyo 2020 +1 is unparalleled in Olympic history

“I cannot imagine how athletes set to take centre stage must have felt about the first-ever postponement of the Games” said Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori “People from all walks of life—including children across Japan looking forward to fiercely-contested competitions, local residents in the towns and cities hosting competition venues and those participating in host town initiatives—were planning to cheer them on and take part in the Games.

“In this difficult situation, athletes are training with eyes on the future, and those whose work supports society are fighting on the front lines every day. I believe humanity’s solidarity will lead us to the end of this long dark tunnel, to a moment of pure joy when athletes from all over the world gather on the Games’ stage. In that moment, the power of sports is sure to uplift and encourage people around the globe.

“Inspired by the beacon of hope that lit up the Olympic Stadium today, the Organising Committee will put forth every effort toward preparing for next year’s Games, ensuring they remain in memory forever as a symbol of unity and solidarity as together we work to overcome the challenges of COVID-19."

The International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach added that “With only one year to go, a mammoth task still lies ahead of us.

“With our Japanese partners and friends, we agree that we have to adapt the planning of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to the requirements of the global crisis, while maintaining the unique spirit and message that define our mission. We are working to optimise the operations and services without touching on sports and athletes. In this way we can, together with the Organising Committee, turn these postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 into an unprecedented celebration of the unity and solidarity of humankind, making them a symbol of resilience and hope.

Showing that we are stronger together.”


      Photo courtesy Tokyo 2020