(Masato Ohta from Tokyo, Japan/Flickr)

Tokyo to Host 2020 Olympic Games

Beat out Istanbul and Madrid


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Tokyo was selected Saturday in a 60 to 36 vote over Istanbul to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. It was seen as the safest course for the International Olympic Committee, because of the city’s experience organizing major events. In the day’s first three-way vote, Tokyo prevailed with 42 votes over the 26 earned by Istanbul and Madrid. In a run-off for the final round, Istanbul was picked over Madrid 49 to 45. 

Istanbul was long seen as the front-runner to host the 2020 Games, but suffered a setback following the harsh police response to anti-government protests in June. Madrid’s battered economy, high unemployment rate, and poor record on doping are thought to have scared off Olympic officials. Japan has twice hosted the Winter Games and Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Games.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
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Lead Photo: Masato Ohta from Tokyo, Japan/Flickr