NBC Olympics Tokyo 2020 logo
NBC Olympics

NBC Olympics unveils Tokyo 2020 logo

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NBC Olympics unveiled its logo for the Tokyo 2020 Games on Wednesday, the 54th anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the first Olympics held in Tokyo.

The 2020 Tokyo Games start July 22, 2020, with the first event being softball’s return to the Olympics. The Opening Ceremony is July 24, 2020.

NBC will air its 17th Olympics in 2020. Its first Games were in Tokyo in 1964, when competition was broadcast in black and white.

NBC aired every Winter Olympics since 2002 and every Summer Olympics since 1988. With its current contract through 2032, NBC will have covered 23 Olympics.

Back in 1964, the rights fee to air the Olympics broke $1 million for the first time. NBC scheduled 14 hours of coverage with the first live Opening Ceremony telecast. By Rio 2016, NBC’s number of hours between broadcast and digital was 6,755.

As for the 2020 logo:

“Our branding goal was to develop a logo that honored the rich culture of Japan, while also exploring the vibrant union of art, technology, fashion and pop culture that defines Tokyo today,” said David Barton, Art Director, NBC Olympics. “The design of the word ‘Tokyo’ is bold and fluid, illustrating with each character the dynamic movement of an Olympic athlete with a subtle reference to the distinct line forms of the Japanese written language.”

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NBC Olympics Tokyo 2020 logo

NBC Olympics Tokyo 2020 logo

Past NBC Olympics logos:

NBC Olympics PyeongChang 2018 logo

 

 

Tokyo Olympic budget expected to hit $25 billion

AP
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TOKYO (AP) — The price tag keeps soaring for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite local organizers and the International Olympic Committee saying that spending is being cut.

A report just released by the national government’s Board of Audit shows Japan is likely to spend $25 billion to prepare the Games, and the final number could go even higher.

This is nearly a four-fold increase over Tokyo’s winning bid in 2013, which the report said projected costs of 829 billion yen, or $7.3 billion at the current exchange rate of 113 yen to the dollar.

Tracking Tokyo costs is getting more difficult as work speeds up, deadlines near, and disputes arise about what are — and what are not — Olympic expenses. Complicated accounting also makes it difficult to figure out who pays for what, and who profits.

“It’s the most amazing thing that the Olympic games are the only type of megaproject to always exceed their budget,” Bent Flyvberg, an authority on Olympic budgeting, said in explaining his research: “The Oxford Olympics Study 2016.”

Flyvberg said the study failed to “find even one” Olympics that came in on or below budget.

Tokyo is a case study.

In December, the Tokyo organizing committee said the Olympic budget was 1.35 trillion yen, or about $12 billion.

This consisted of equal contributions of 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion) from the organizing committee and the Tokyo metropolitan government, with another 150 billion yen ($1.3 billion) coming from the national government.

But a month later, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said the city needed to chip in an added 810 billion yen ($7.2 billion) “for projects directly and indirectly related to the Games.” She said this included building barrier-free facilities for Paralympic athletes, training programs for volunteers, and advertising and tourism plans.

This raised the overall costs to 2.16 trillion yen, or about $19.1 billion.

The IOC and local organizers dispute these are Olympic expenses, describing them as “regular administrative costs” that fall “outside the overall Games budget.”

Flyvberg credited organizers of recent Olympics with trying to control costs, but tight Olympic deadlines make it difficult. Other large building projects can be pushed back a few months. Not the Olympics.

He also said it was inefficient for different cities to keep organizing the Games.

“All you can do when problems begin — and problems always begin on projects of this size — is to throw more money at the project,” Flyvberg said.

Another Tokyo cost increase popped up a few days ago.

A 178-page report by the Board of Audit said the national government’s share of spending had increased to 801 billion yen ($7.1 billion) from the $1.3 billion estimated back in December.

This brings total spending to 2.81 trillion yen, or just under $25 billion, with suggestions it could reach 3 trillion when the games open in just under two years.

The report said “a large amount of spending was expected to continue after 2018 leading up to the event.”

The report urged organizers, the Tokyo city government, central government, and local agencies to increase transparency.

In a statement Tuesday to The Associated Press, local organizers again disputed what should be called Olympic costs.

Spokesman Masa Takaya said expenditures listed such as “inbound tourism, road constructions, subsidy for creating a hydrogen society, and even improving accuracy of weather forecasts with better satellites,” should not be considered Olympic expenses.

The audit report also faulted Tokyo organizers for excluding other expenses from the budget. The report said these came to about 650 billion yen ($5.6 billion) and included things like: repairs to existing buildings; security costs; the cost of running doping facilities.

It said the organizing committee’s December budget did “not reflect all the costs related to the operation of the event.”

About 80 percent of the $25 billion will be taxpayer money. The rest — about $5.3 billion — comes from the privately funded operating budget. This budget receives $1.7 billion from the IOC with the rest coming from sponsors, merchandising and ticket sales.

Tokyo organizers say they have saved billions in the last several years by using existing venues, holding shorter test events and by making other cuts in construction.

The IOC has also tried to promote frugality, aware that hidden and soaring costs have driven away many possible Olympic bidders — particularly for the Winter Olympics.

Three bidders remain for the 2026 Winter Olympics: Calgary, Canada; Stockholm, Sweden; Milan-Cortina, Italy. Several others dropped out.

Organizers of the recent Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, reported a budget surplus of $55 million this week. Meanwhile, the provincial government is complaining about paying millions for upkeep on empty venues, with the national government unwilling to assume the costs.

There is talk of razing several empty venues.

“Even though people try to bring down costs, it’s very difficult,” Flyvberg said. “But there is some progress. But not nearly as much as for other types of megaprojects.”

Flyvberg added that “for a city and nation to decide to stage the Olympic Games is to decide to take on one of the most costly and financially most risky type of megaproject that exists, something that many cities and national have learned too their peril.”

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Tokyo to ‘screen off’ bacteria for Olympic swimming in bay

Tokyo bay
AP
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TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organizers said Friday that a system of layered screens would be used to keep bacteria levels within “agreed limits” for triathlon and marathon swimming in heavily trafficked Tokyo Bay.

Organizers acknowledged a year ago that levels of E. Coli were up to 20 times above acceptable levels set by international sports federations, and fecal coliform bacteria were seven times over the limit.

Hidemasa Nakamura, executive director of sports and games delivery, said a triple-layer screen of polyester fiber was tested in July and August on dates corresponding to the Olympics and Paralympics in two years.

“The triple-layer screen was proven effective in controlling E. coli bacteria and other bacteria,” Nakamura said through an interpreter.

He said the international federations that govern marathon swimming and triathlon had seen the test results.

“They agreed the test results were quite favorable,” Nakamura said.

Plans would seem to call for the screens to encircle the area for marathon swimming and triathlon.

The Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 were plagued with severe water pollution, from rowing events to open-water swimming to sailing.

Tokyo’s challenge for the 2020 Games seems smaller. But a core problem in both places stems from holding outdoor water events in the heart of the city rather in cleaner waters away from the urban area.

In Rio de Janeiro, television rights holders pushed for sailing to be held in heavily polluted Guanabara Bay, partly because of the picturesque backdrop and appealing camera angles.

Nakamura said something similar in explaining why the Odaiba Marine Park, in the heart of Tokyo Bay, was chosen.

“I think it’s very important for us to hold this event in the middle of Tokyo with the ocean water and the skyscrapers and the urban background of Tokyo,” Nakamura said. “That will show how Tokyo is a city where we have the modern structures and well as the ocean.”

The Odaiba Marine Park sits at the foot of Tokyo’s famous Rainbow Bridge. A half dozen signs around the small beach say “No Swimming” allowed. On a recent day, one small child was wading in shallow water, but no one else ventured into the sea along the 200-meter (yard) stretch of beach.

However, over the summer the public was allowed to swim for about a week under a program called “Odaiba Plage” — a takeoff on Paris. The park for decades has held many national open-water swimming competitions.

Nakamura said the no-swimming signs were there because life guards are not on duty, and not because of water pollution.

“Some kind of underwater screens would be used during the Olympics and Paralympics,” he said, noting the exact configurations could change as the city and organizers experimented.

Dangerous water-borne viruses were a large concern in Rio, but Tokyo organizers indicated that sports federations seemed concerned only with monitoring bacteria.

Nakamura and an official from the Tokyo city government said they were confident the screens would keep athletes healthy.

Some rowers and sailors got ill in Rio, but it was often difficult to link the dirty water to the outbreaks. Local sailors seemed to build up immunity to the dirty water.

“We will continue to work with the IOC and the international federations on this point,” Nakamura said. “We will continue to work to ensure the safety of the athletes against bacteria.”

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