Toyko gets 2020 Olympic Games
- Published: 9/09/2013 at 10:31 AM
- Online news:
Thousands of Japanese erupted in joy early Sunday as they learned Tokyo would host the 2020 Olympic Games.
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, third from right, celebrates alongside Tokyo 2020 delegation members after IOC president Jacques Rogge announced the Japanese capital to be the winner of the bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. AFP
Japan ecstatic at Olympic win
By Shigemi Sato (AFP)
TOKYO — Thousands of Japanese erupted in joy early Sunday as they learned Tokyo would host the 2020 Olympic Games.
Some had risen very early, while others had stayed up all night to hear the decision from Buenos Aires, which came at 5:20 am local time.
Several channels had live coverage of the event, with public broadcaster NHK having begun its programming at 10.30 pm on Saturday.
As Olympic chief Jacques Rogge read the IOC decision, cheers and shouts rang out. Groups of ecstatic Japanese hugged each other and punched the air.
TV hosts and their guests were temporarily speechless and several were in tears, with some making reference to people living in the area affected by the earthquake-tsunami and the nuclear emergency it caused in March 2011.
At the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where around 1,200 people had gathered to watch live-streaming of the announcement in Buenos Aires, people held V signs aloft and cheerleaders hugged each other. Some shouted "Banzai" (hurrah!).
At the MC's prompting the crowd in unison said "arigato" (thank you) to Buenos Aires.
At Komozawa Olympic Park in the south of Tokyo, which served as a venue for several sports at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, golden tinsel rained down at the moment of decision.
A boisterous crowd held signs and chanted "Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo," as an interviewer fought to be heard above the din
When he finally got his question out – "What do you think of the news?" – one man shouted: "It's the best!" before being drowned out by chanting and cheering.
But in Madrid, which was eliminated at the first stage of the vote, news of the city's elimination was greeted with shock
Red balloons that supporters had been clutching were let go and people began making their way home.
"I am very disappointed " said Jorge Linhares, 41, a minister who had come to witness the decision. "Everyone was very hopeful and I am surprised," he added. "I thought we would go to the second round and win."
Tokyo's victory was a huge disappointment to the hundreds of Turks who had gathered in front of the Hagia Sophia. Within minutes of the announcement, the podium and the forum were almost deserted
But the city's governor, Huseyin Avni Mutlu, was magnanimous
"Today we showed that we were a serious candidate so I do not believe that we have lost," he said. "We are a people who love competition we will continue to try."
Istanbul bid volunteer Basak Demirci said Turkey would not be bowed by the loss.
"Turkey is the best Muslim country in the world and if we had won the Games, we could have set an example to the Muslim world," she told AFP. "One day we will win."
About the author
- Writer: Terry Fredrickson
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