About 15,000 people participated in the Tokyo Marunouchi Street Stadium sport festival during the holiday weekend in Japan, which celebrates Health and Sports Day to commemorate the opening of the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
To show the “ever-rising” support for Tokyo’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, sports fans and athletes “descended” upon the area surrounding Tokyo Station in the heart of the city. The event was held near many of the proposed venues, 95 per cent of which will be within eight km of the city centre, which Tokyo 2016 says is “the most compact urban Games ever conceived”.
Participants competed in Olympic and Paralympic competitions, including track and field, gymnastics, football and wheelchair basketball. They were joined by several Japanese Olympic stars.
Tokyo Governor and Tokyo 2016 President Shintaro Ishihara said, “this event provided an opportunity to immerse the citizens of Tokyo in the dynamic world of sports, from track and field to gymnastics, fencing and football, as well as directly experience sport with some of the nation’s most celebrated athletes. Involvement with sport through such events will undoubtedly mobilize the Japanese population not only to get behind Tokyo 2016, but also to create an unprecedented sports movement in Japan”.
Dr. Ichiro Kono, Chairman and CEO of Tokyo 2016 said, “the Tokyo Marunouchi Street Stadium was a great opportunity to demonstrate Japan’s excitement at the prospect of staging the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the heart of this great city. One of the key commitments of our ‘Musubi Promise’ is to unite the Games with city life, and this spectacular event aptly demonstrated exactly how Tokyo 2016 would achieve this. Japan’s love for its Olympic athletes and their efforts to excel on the world’s greatest stage for sport was never more evident than today”.