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The Summer Olympics in Tokyo: facts are facts

After being postponed for a year, the Olympics in Tokyo then finally started. Watched in total 784.000 Dutch people attended the festive opening last Friday. There will 33 different sports are practiced, with 5 new ones making their debut this year. Curious about which sports these are or what material they are made of 5.000 medals are made? MASTERS lists a few facts about the Summer Games in Tokyo. Text: Fleur de Jong

1. Most expensive Summer Olympics ever

The Summer Olympics in Tokyo are the most expensive of all time. The costs were estimated at approximately €13 billion. According to sources, the actual amount is now €23,6 billion.

2. The stadium was actually going to be designed by a different architect

The stadium was originally going to be designed by the famous architect Zaha Hadid. Hadid's design was initially chosen for the stadium, but her plans were scrapped due to the over budget. A design has now been chosen Kengo Kuma. The architect is known for his use of natural materials and says he turned to traditional Japanese architecture and the environment for inspiration. The architect sourced wood from each of Japan's 47 prefectures. The stadium can accommodate 68.000 spectators and an additional 80.016 seats have been temporarily created for the Summer Olympics. Ultimately, construction cost approximately €1,1 billion. The stadium is the setting for the opening and closing of the Summer Olympics, athletics competitions and a number of football matches. Photo: Olympics.com | Olympic Stadium

3. The Games are focused on sustainability

In the context of sustainability, a number of locations that were used during the 1964 Games will be repurposed. Additionally, a number of things such as podiums, uniforms and medals are all made from recycled materials. Even the beds in the Olympic Village are made of cardboard, which is also recycled after the Olympic Games. The beds can hold a weight of 200 kilos, which organizers say is stronger than wooden versions. All transport, such as cars and buses for transporting athletes, runs on hydrogen. And for the very first time in history, even the Olympic flame burns on hydrogen. 

4. The 5.000 medals are made from old electronic devices

Ahead of the Olympic Games, people in Japan were asked to donate their discarded electronics, such as cell phones, to contribute to the production of the Olympic and Paralympic medals. The collection campaign lasted two years, resulting in approximately 78.985 tons of old devices collected by local municipalities and approximately 6,21 million mobile phones. Gold, silver and bronze were extracted from the discarded electronics for the 5.000 required medals. 

5. The torch is inspired by cherry blossoms

The torch used for the Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay was inspired by cherry blossoms – a well-known symbol of Japan. The relay started in March this year to coincide with the cherry blossom season. 

6. Tokyo is the safest city in the world

Although there were concerns about the number of violent crimes during the Games in Rio de Janeiro, this is no longer necessary. Tokyo ranks first among the safest cities in the world, crime is very low. Fun fact: Amsterdam is in fourth place on this list.

7. Heavy dose of technology

In addition to robots, the Tokyo Olympics will be the first to use a large-scale facial recognition system. This system is designed to improve safety and expedite access to the venue for athletes, officials, press members and other attendees. For example, facial recognition is applied to the 12.000 athletes and employees. Thanks to a database of 1,6 million images, faces can be recognized in 0,3 seconds. 

8. New sports make their debut

A total of six sports will make their debut as an Olympic event in Tokyo. For the first time we see karate, sport climbing, baseball and softball, skateboarding and wave surfing.