Nowadays when you talk about sports, the first thing that comes to your mind is the Olympic games 2020 held a few days back. There is no doubt that it became the talk of the town, giving even us Pakistanis a lot to cheer for as well. The 2020 Summer Olympics, branded as Tokyo 2020 Olympics, was an international multi-sport event held from 23rd July to 8th August 2021. The slogan of the 2020 Summer Olympics torch relay is “Hope Lights Our Way”, which was quite appropriate given the circumstances.
Tokyo was selected as the host city during the 125th session of International Olympic Committee (IOC) held in 2013. It is the only Asian country which has held Olympics twice. The event was first decided to be hosted in July 2020 but was postponed to March 2021 due to covid-19 pandemic and was finally held in July 2021. Even though held in 2021 the games retained its branded name as 2020 because of sponsors and marketing conflicts. First time in the history has this happened that Olympics games got rescheduled.
Olympic Games United by Emotion
The theme of 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games is “United by Emotion”. As it is quite clear from the wording, this theme represents the unification of people from different region solely for the purpose of sports. Looking at the logo, people might have some reservations that if the games are being held in 2021 why isn’t the logo changed. Officials explained that Olympics are always held in even number so the tradition is going to be maintained. The major reason is changing it to the correct year would have cost a fortune. Organizers spent $1.3 billion making billboards, giant public countdown clocks, and commercials with the original logo so changing all that was not a possibility.
There was a nation-wide competition held to select the official emblem of Tokyo Olympics, won by Asao Tokolo. The design is in the form of indigo-colored rings, which are meant to express the sophistication of Japan. The cartoon character Miraitowa, which has the power of transportation, is the official mascot of the Tokyo Olympics. It was inspired by the official emblem.
Total Countries in Olympic Games
Delegates from over 200 countries, 205 to be precise, have participated in this year Olympics. But according to the UN, there are a total number of 193 officially recognized countries in the world. For a country to participate in the Olympics they need to have a National Olympic Committee, and there are 206 of them worldwide. North Korea being one of them did not participate this year, due to the pandemic going on. Now out of those 13 countries, four are geo-political fought areas: Palestine, Hong Kong, Kosovo, and Taiwan and other nine are island regions: American Samoa, Aruba, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, British Virgin Islands, and US Virgin Islands.
Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic
In January 2020 concerns were raised about the safety of athletes and visitors against the covid-19 pandemic. Even though the impact was closely monitored but its wide spread led IOC, the Tokyo Organising Committee and the Japanese government to collectively make the decision to delay the Olympic Games for a year. This had a huge impact on the agreement with sponsors, venues availability, ticketing, Olympic broadcasters, athlete qualification process etc. To address all these issues, a task force “Here we go” was made by the Tokyo 2020 Organizing and Coordination Commission.
Health experts expressed concern in April 2020 that the Games might have to be cancelled if the pandemic should persist. Even the citizens had their reservations because the percentage of vaccinated population was very less. But eventually the Japanese government decided to held the Olympics games behind closed doors with no spectators due to the state of emergency. A complete cancellation would have cost Japan $41.5 billion, based on operating expenses and loss of tourism activity.
Olympic Games 2020
The opening ceremony was held on 23rd July 2021 in the Olympic stadium in the city of Tokyo. For the first time in the 2020 Olympic Games, it was decided that one male and one female of each country would take turns holding flags.
The Games featured 339 events in 33 different sports, with 15 newly introduced games.
The design for the Olympic medals for the 2020 Summer Olympics was created by Junichi Kawanishi. For the manufacturing of the medals, public donated their old electronic devices and from those devices, material was recycled. The Tokyo 2020 medal project aim towards an innovative future of the world.
Due to covid-19 pandemic, dignitaries were not allowed to place the medal on the winners. They were presented with the medals on the trays and were asked to put on the medal on themselves to avoid any kind of contact.
A total of 93 countries won medals, breaking the previous record of 87 from the 2008 and 2016 Olympics. 65 countries won at least one gold medal, again breaking the record established at the 2016 Olympics games. According to the ranking, United States of America won the most gold medals, 39, as well as the most overall medals which are 113. China was on the second place winning a total of 88 medals and the host Japan finished at the 3rd place with 27 gold medals and total of 58 medals.
Pakistan at Olympics Games 2020
It was Pakistan’s 18th appearance at the Olympics. A total of 10 players participated in 6 games, out of which 3 were women and 7 were men. 2 competed in athletics, 1 in badminton, 1 in judo, 3 in shooting, 2 in swimming and 1 in weightlifting.
Unfortunately, Pakistan was unable to win any medal but performance of Talha Talib, in weightlifting, and Arshad Nadeem, in javelin throw, was quite commendable. Both of them were ranked 5th in their respective games. Pakistan as a nation was over joyed by their performance as they represented Pakistan globally and made us all proud. They also represented as a ray of hope for Pakistan future prospect of sports.