Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium criticized by other architects

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The futuristic-looking Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium is coming under criticism from the Japanese architecture community.

Japanese architects are slamming the proposed 80,000-seat venue, saying it’s too big and setting up a symposium to protest against its “size and scale,” according to Architects’ Journal, a weekly British magazine.

The 2016 Olympic Stadium will seat 60,000. The 2008 Olympic Stadium capacity was 91,000, and the 2012 Olympic Stadium capacity was 80,000.

London-based architect Zaha Hadid, who designed the 2012 Olympic Aquatics Center, won a contest to design Tokyo 2020’s national stadium last year, before Tokyo beat Istanbul and Madrid for the right to host the 2020 Olympics.

The new stadium will reportedly cost $1.3 billion and have a retractable roof. Construction is scheduled to start in 2015 with completion in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Fumihiko Maki, 85, is leading the opposition. Maki is a winner of the Pritzker Prize, an award that’s been called the Nobel Prize of architecture.

“I hope that his protest is successful in shrinking the design to fit the context,” Sou Fujimoto, another architect, told the magazine. “I’m not fighting Zaha. The competition for the stadium was very rigorous, and we can’t overturn everything. But the design could be better.”

Tokyo last hosted the Olympics in 1964, and that national stadium still stands today but is now set to be demolished and replaced.

“One hopes that, as Zaha’s design is worked through in detail, the stadium’s interface with urban neighborhoods and parkland on its periphery will be significantly softer,” architect Alastair Townsend told the magazine. “The current renderings don’t show a single tree on the site.”

How Tokyo 2020’s win played out on Twitter

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

Blake Griffin
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For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January are LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Love is the only name from that list of healthy players with Olympic experience. Faried is the only player from that list who suited up at the 2014 World Cup, starting all nine games.

At London 2012, the U.S. started NBA small forwards LeBron James and Kevin Durant at the forward spots in all eight games, with another small forward, Carmelo Anthony, bringing similar versatility off the bench.

MORE: Why Candace Parker was left off Olympic team

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

Candelaria Church
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mayor Eduardo Paes says he wants the Olympic cauldron to burn in Rio de Janeiro’s revitalized port area.

The cauldron will be lit at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, and will spend the night there before traveling to a permanent home.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio organizing committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the cauldron will be placed in the port area, but not in the heart of the renovated port area known as Plaza Maua.

“It will be close to Plaza Maua, but not exactly in Plaza Maua,” Andrada said. He said it was likely to be located near the Candelaria Church, which is near the plaza.

“Don’t get me into a fight with the mayor,” Andrada added.

Paes said he hoped the new plaza would be a center for outdoor entertainment during the Games, including performance stages, musical attractions, and large-screen televisions.

“It seems that the Maracana Stadium has limitations,” Paes said, adding that moving out of the Maracana “is good because it democratizes the access to the cauldron.”

The new plaza and downtown Rio are far from the heart of the Games in suburban Barra da Tijuca. It is also an area not usually visited by tourists.

The Olympic flame arrives from Greece and Switzerland on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia, to be carried off the plane by IOC member Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio organizing committee.

The flame then goes to the Planalto presidential palace where it is expected to be greeted by President Dilma Rousseff.

Andrada said IOC President Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials would not be at the ceremony.

Rousseff is facing impeachment charges and could be suspended from office as early as May 11, turning over authority to Vice President Michel Temer.

Temer, himself, could also face impeachment proceedings and has a scandal-tainted career.

PHOTOS: Olympic flame visits Acropolis, 1896 Olympic Stadium