Top Olympic Bid Stories of 2013: #2 Tokyo Wins 2020 Olympic Games Bid

#2 Tokyo Wins 2020 Olympic Games Bid

In Buenos Aires on September 7 and after a two-year campaign – Tokyo defeated rivals Istanbul and Madrid to win the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games. It will be the second time hosting for the Japanese capital that also staged the Games in 1964.

Tokyo had lost its bid for the 2016 Games won by Rio de Janeiro – but officials persevered and came back with a winning campaign despite the geographic disadvantage of having the 2018 Winter Games in nearby South Korea.

The bid committee also battled critisicm that Japan would be better off attending to recovery efforts of the 2011 tsunami and that risks remained with the radioactive leaks at the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. But in the end members voted for the quality, risk averse and well-prepared plan.

The first ballot had Tokyo getting 42 votes – 6 shy of a majority – and Madrid and Istanbul tied at 26 a piece. In a run-off ballot Istanbul narrowly passed Madrid with 49 to 45 and on a third ballot Tokyo clinched with 60 to 36 votes.

Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun readers voted the Olympic bid victory as the top national news story of the year.

Watch for top 10 story #1 coming soon on GamesBids.com

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About Robert Livingstone


A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.