Tokyo 2016 Learns From Beijing Games But Stresses Compact Games

Tokyo 2016 officials took part in the official IOC Observe Program and attended meetings with BOCOG during the Beijing Games and with other members of the Olympic Family for “invaluable knowledge that will be reflected in their 2016 Candidature File”.

There was great interest in the Games in Japan as more than 50 million people in Japan watched the Beijing Games Opening Ceremony on television, and 700,000 watched from the proposed site of the Tokyo 2016 Olympic Stadium.

Tokyo 2016 Chairman and CEO Dr. Ichiro Kono said in a press release Monday, “BOCOG and the people of Beijing have been extremely helpful to us during a Games that has lived up to all expectations. From the spectacular curtain-raiser on 8 August to yesterday’s stunning Closing Ceremony we found ourselves continuously thinking ‘we must do that’, ‘what’s the best way to do it in Tokyo’ or ‘what will we do differently'”?

The Wall Street Journal reports Tokyo 2016 officials have been wooing International Olympic Committee delegates in Beijing with the message that small is beautiful.

The Beijing Games have further solidified Tokyo 2016’s unique compact proposal for the Olympic Movement. The bid committee says it would, if selected, hold a “compact” Games that will be easier on finances and on the environment. It would take only 18 minutes to travel from the proposed Athletes’ Village to most Olympic venues, or less time on public transport, said officials – a contrast to Beijing’s sprawling Olympics.

The city also intends to recycle some venues from Tokyo’s 1964 Games.

“We don’t feel like Beijing’s set the standard in any way”, said Kono. “We’re not aiming to be big. China’s Olympics was about demonstrating their rising power. Japan’s will be very different”.