September 07, 2013

Tokyo Wins the 2020 Summer Olympics: After Madrid was eliminated, Tokyo beat Istanbul in the final vote for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Concerns over the lingering environmental effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster may have been outweighed by concerns over Middle East unrest and Spanish economic woes. This puts the Olympics in East Asia for consecutive events, with the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea.

posted by Etrigan to olympics at 04:58 PM - 8 comments

Tomorrow (September 8th), the IOC will decide on the sports to be competed in Tokyo (including the possible reinstatement of wrestling); two days later, it will elect a new president.

posted by Etrigan at 04:58 PM on September 07, 2013

The Tokyo Olympiad of 1964 was a seminal event in the post-WWII development of Japan. That Japan was able to stage such an event 19 years after the near-total devastation of the country, sent a message to the rest of the world that Japan was back in business. Now, some 50 years later, Japan's economy has slowed quite a bit and staging the Olympics in 2020 might provide the spark needed to get the country underway again. While the Fukushima disaster is cause for concern, consider that the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were recovering and quite habitable within just a few months of the nuclear strikes. Fukushima will likely be repaired within the 6 years remaining before the games.

posted by Howard_T at 09:17 PM on September 07, 2013

At least it didn't go to Qatar.

posted by owlhouse at 09:33 PM on September 07, 2013

A lot has changed between 1964 and now in terms of being the host. I'm not entirely sure I'd call it "winning" the bidding. I know I'd never want any place I was living to bid on the games.

posted by beaverboard at 11:14 AM on September 08, 2013

And wrestling's back in the lineup. There was some suspicion that it was dropped primarily in order to be reinstated in the autumn instead of adopting a new sport, which stiffs squash again (along with baseball/softball).

The writeup suggests that the federation didn't think its return was guaranteed, and made a lot of changes over the past year, both to its own hierarchy and the scoring system.

posted by etagloh at 12:21 PM on September 08, 2013

I'm in favor of virtually all of the changes that I've heard wrestling has made. I look forward to seeing how they play out on the mat. If they work, maybe every sport needs to be on the block every now and then to make sure it's not caught up its own ass.

posted by Etrigan at 04:37 PM on September 08, 2013

Before the 2016 Games, wrestling's makeover will include a few tricks borrowed from the MMA world (perhaps no more singlets, the addition of music, lighting, visual effects) to make the sport more entertaining.

It seems silly, but I do think losing the singlet would be a big help. It really makes the sport look dated. Also visual effects? Like a green screen mat, and then you can make it look like they are wrestling on the surface of Mars or in an ancient amphitheater? Awesome.

posted by Rock Steady at 11:59 AM on September 09, 2013

Speaking of MMA and borrowing tricks, I had a dream the other night that I was watching an MMA "Royal Rumble" event, where guys just kept piling into the ring and actually kicking the shit out of each other with very little referee supervision. It was pretty rough.

posted by Hugh Janus at 12:21 PM on September 09, 2013

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