NOCs and athletes officially invited as Tokyo 2020 celebrates one year to go

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) today welcomed guests from all over the world to celebrate the milestone of one year to go until the opening of the Olympic Games.

A ceremony organised by Tokyo 2020 and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government took place at the Tokyo International Forum, which is the venue set to host weightlifting at the Games next year.

The ceremony was attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, IOC President Thomas Bach, IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori, with speeches delivered about this significant milestone.

During the ceremony, President Thomas Bach symbolically handed invitations to the Presidents of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of Greece, China, France, the United States of America, Senegal, Australia and Japan, as well as the Chef de Mission of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team. The NOCs represented included a number of host countries of upcoming Games and Youth Olympic Games. President Bach then delivered a message of welcome to officially invite athletes all around the world to the Games next year.

The Tokyo 2020 medal design was unveiled during the ceremony, with Junichi Kawanishi introduced as the designer who was chosen from the 421 design applications submitted to the Medal Design Competition. The design of the medals reflects the concept that in order to achieve glory, athletes have to strive for victory on a daily basis.

The ceremony also saw the official ambassadors of the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay carry a torch into the venue. They expressed their excitement for next year’s Games and the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay, for which torchbearers are currently being recruited.

The ceremony included a rhythmic gymnastics performance by Japanese Olympian Honami Tsuboi, and there was live music from the Yoshida Brothers and by the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.

In addition to the ceremony, Tokyo 2020 held a “Let’s 55” event, where the public were able to try their hand at 15 of the 33 Olympic sports. 55 is the number of different sports in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. A number of athletes and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic mascot Miraitowa joined the occasion. The Paralympic equivalent event will take place on 24 August.

Tokyo 2020 has positioned the four weeks from 13 July to 9 August 2019 as the “One Year to Go” period, and will hold several events in conjunction with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and its partners during this time. Tokyo 2020 will also hold several test events during this period.

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