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IOC wants to move Tokyo Olympic marathons, walking races to Sapporo

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I'd go one step further and argue the following: Knowing full well that there would be no way to hold the Summer Olympics at any time other than from late July into early August owing to pressure from U.S. television networks and others, Sapporo is the ONLY major city in Japan that Japanese officials should have considered for hosting the Summer Olympics. It's not 1964 anymore, when the Tokyo Olympics began on 10 October.

26 ( +26 / -0 )

Agreed with MASSWIPE, and love the handle. Tokyo being hotter than hell in the summer was known when the Tokyo Olympic Committee was bribing officials to win the bid, so not a surprise. Ridiculous the bid was approved despite this; then again, money talks loudly.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

"The Olympic Games are the platform where athletes can give 'once-in-a-lifetime' performances, and these measures ensure they have the conditions to give their best," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.

But Mr Bach forgot to add, Jiro sushi is in Tokyo, and all the other 5 stars hotels are in Tokyo, and it would be sacrosanct to have considered anywhere other than Tokyo in the first place, given the importance of looking after athletes, cough, IOC leadership. Athlete's consultation will always come seconds to IOC gravy train and perks.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Well, interesting turn of "events" here! If the marathon and long distance walk races are moved to Sapporo, and seeing as how the baseball and softball will be in Fukushima, let's move the Karate to Okinawa and make this the JAPAN Olympics.

Seeing as how ALL our tax money is being used for these events, let's get everyone involved!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

We discussed here a lot about the heat problem of the Tokyo Olympics in summer while Japanese medias and politicians did not take up the issue seriously by now and it is becoming an issue leaving less than one year until the event. This is so foolish and ridiculous. A big embarassment for the people concerned.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The one athlete quoted seemed a little jerkish about it by considering his family and friends over his own health and of his competitors.

but his point is solid, why not ask the athletes?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

A bit late

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I've posted loads of times here that the marathon should be moved to Hokkaido. It seems so obvious.

The nonsense about starting at 6am would not make much of a difference - that's when it starts getting too hot.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Yeah, the whole Olympics should be moved to Sapporo. The winter Olympics has been held in Sapporo and it was a great success. Only... remember that this year, there were some days during the summer when Sapporo was hotter than Tokyo due to strange movement of hot air fronts. Maybe that was a fluke, or maybe it is climate change.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So, the routes have been planned, the event tickets have been sold, people have booked hotels and planes and this wombat turns around with ten months to go before the start of the games and recommends the events be moved to the other end of the country. I don't disagree with the decision coz athletes are gonna die in the heat and stifling humidity of a Tokyo mid-summer, but surely he could have made this decision two years ago. It's not as if the Tokyo summer temps and humidity were unknown.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

so much for the "Tokyo" Olympics....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The question is how much cooler is Sapporo than Tokyo? I distinctly remember a few days last year when Sapporo was hotter than Naha. It was in the news.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Chip StarToday 06:54 am JST

Agreed with MASSWIPE, and love the handle. Tokyo being hotter than hell in the summer was known when the Tokyo Olympic Committee was bribing officials to win the bid, so not a surprise. Ridiculous the bid was approved despite this; then again, money talks loudly.

When the IOC declared the 2020 bidding process open it was made clear a July/August Olympics was non-negotiable. All applicant cities had to accept this. Tokyo/the Japanese government/the JOC accepted this, applied and won. There was never any possibility of it being moved to October. After the shambles in Doha the IOC have finally accepted that July/August in Tokyo is dangerously hot and humid; they have acted responsibly to ensure the safety of the athletes (and the spectators too).

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Shift these distance events to higher ground, Nasu, Karuizawa, Hakone even. It doesn't have to be Sapporo.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Kinda late to be asking to change venues isn't it? Love the idea though.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Better late than never

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Shame and embarrassing. No hope Japan should have done this voluntarily long ago.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Not only are Sapporo's temperatures usually lower, the humidity is way lower. Last year there were a few days where Sapporo was actually hotter than most cities in Japan but the humidity was still less intense.

NBC or whatever TV conglomerate owns the rights should think more about the athletes and fans and allow non-July/Aug periods. The Olympics weren't brought back last century just for network profits.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why don't they just move the entire Olympics to Hokkaido while they are at it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

papigiulio, Tokyo isn't a problem. The problem is weather.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think they should wait until three weeks before the games to change the location.

I mean, everybody loves surprises, right?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's only the marathon and walking events they are considering moving. The other athletic events will take place outside or in an uncovered stadium where it will still be too hot. The Doha stadium was covered and air conditioned, but Tokyo changed the original stadium design and removed the roof to save money. Result: dangerous levels of heat for athletes and spectators.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Just the IOC floating a balloon. It is going to get shot down for all the obvious reasons.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

let's move the Karate to Okinawa and make this the JAPAN Olympics.

Seeing as how ALL our tax money is being used for these events, let's get everyone involved!

Good idea...that should have been considered from the start.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Lords of the Rings starting to go into meltdown at the thought of adverse publicity (athlete and spectator deaths) affecting their image, and income. These are not gladitorial games where deaths are expected and common for losers; here, everyone expects to go home after they have competed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is TANTAMOUNT to admitting 2020 in Tokyo in July-August IS A MISTAKE PERIOD!!!

There are plenty of other athletes who will still be left to BAKE, FRY, along with fans workers etc

What a debacle!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is a really obvious idea which may prevent athletes collapsing and dying from heatstroke.

And if Evan Dunfee had ever run around in Tokyo in the summer then he would be saving money to get to Hokkaido....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The sheer incompetence and buffoonery in the IOC and JOC is unbelievable.

Anyone with half a brain could see this issue years ago. The IOC should have flagged this as early as the bid process, asking what specific plans the JOC has for the seasonal heat impacting different events.

The Tokyo Olympics should’ve been held in spring or autumn. A summer Olympics in Japan should be held in Sapporo. They are the only logical options.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Well, interesting turn of "events" here! If the marathon and long distance walk races are moved to Sapporo, and seeing as how the baseball and softball will be in Fukushima, let's move the Karate to Okinawa and make this the JAPAN Olympics.

Seeing as how ALL our tax money is being used for these events, let's get everyone involved!

I like Yubaru's idea. If the Japanese government is really sincere about their purpose for these events then why not have the events all over the country. Spread the wealth!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Just saying, but the rowing people refused to allow their events to be held outside Tokyo. The organizers had wanted to do this to save money on building a new facility.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The sheer incompetence and buffoonery in the IOC and JOC is unbelievable.

I wouldn't blame the IOC as much as the JOC. It is hard to factor in climate change when choosing cities, and the dates are tradition. However, the Japanese government sold their bid on using sympathy and wanting to help their country recover. The area really benefiting is Kanto specifically Tokyo. These events could help the economies of a lot of regions in Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So much for the "compact Olympics".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hard-headed JOC were never going to listen to LOUD international common sense posted here frequently over the last two years. They needed to see bodies on the ground first.

Luckily (?) Doha gave them that. Better late than never, I guess.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The needs / wants of the IOC have always outweighed those of the athletes.

Which is why Tokyo was chosen.

For a Summer Olympics.

In July / August.

The needs of the IOC??

Money / bribes!

The wants of the IOC??

A cosmopolitan city where they can enjoy gourmet food, expensive wine and luxurious accommodations.... all at the expense of others!

The athletes are merely the serfs who are used by the lords of the IOC for their own gain!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Alfie Noakes

All applicant cities had to accept this. Tokyo/the Japanese government/the JOC accepted this, applied and won. 

Only if Japan didn't bribe....

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2019/01/11/olympics/joc-chief-tsunekazu-takeda-investigated-france-corruption-linked-2020-olympics/

JOC chief Tsunekazu Takeda investigated in France for corruption linked to 2020 Olympics

Le Monde reported that French investigators suspect Takeda of authorizing the payment of bribes. French financial prosecutors are looking at two payments, totaling €1.8 million ($2 million), made on either side of the IOC vote in September 2013 to a Singapore company, Black Tidings, Le Monde said.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is a sensible move. Holding the Olympics in October would have been more sensible, but since the IOC wants the participation of NBA athletes, they probably won't allow that option. It's midsummer or bust, so moving outdoor endurance events to a cooler part of Japan seems best for safety and the general credibility of the event. Nobody wants the narrative of the Tokyo Olympics to be that marathoners were collapsing by the dozens in extreme heat and humidity.

Of course, it's impossible to predict weather months in advance. Sapporo can be very hot that time of year, too, although usually not as humid. But the Olympic planners have to make a choice between venues that are typically at least 5 degrees different from each other.

The complaints of people who have already booked accommodations are minor. They would have to fly to Tokyo first anyway. Flights to Sapporo are relatively inexpensive. Hotel bookings this far from the date can easily be changed. If necessary, get the IOC involved with airlines to ensure people affected by the change can continue on to Sapporo instead of stopping at Narita, if they so choose. For those who want to see the marathon as well as other events, the change would be the biggest problem. Let those handful of people change event tickets if necessary. Fans are important, but the safety of the athletes needs to be the priority.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

so much for the "Tokyo" Olympics....

Like a quarter to half of the events are taking place in other prefectures before they made this move.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wonderful! The only event I was planning to watch for free is now going to be relocated. Oh well, I hope Sapporo can reap some of the benefits since the rest of Japan won't see much of anything.

That said, they are also worried about the temperature of the water in Odaiba for the long distance swimming events. Apparently if the temperature is above 31'C, the race will be cancelled. I proposed that they move the swim to Lake Kawaguchiko, or another one of the "5 lakes" surrounding Mount Fuji. That would allow the committee to showcase Mt. Fuji. Doubt that will happen though. Too many hankos and permits to go around.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is hard to factor in climate change when choosing cities, and the dates are tradition.

This is nonsense on both counts. It is impossible to predict the weather precisely months ahead of time, but the overall climate is very predictable. Climate change is not the issue. Tokyo has always been uncomfortably hot in July and August. Olympic planners in 1964 understood that, which is why the Olympics were in October. Between the time the 2020 Olympics were awarded to Tokyo and the start of the Olympics, how much has climate actually changed? Eight or ten years is hardly a blink of an eye for climate. Even the most dire climate change measurements would put the change in Tokyo temperature at less than a tenth of a degree during this span.

As for the dates being traditional, the "traditional" date to hold Summer Olympics in Tokyo is October. The most recent four Summer Olympics have all been scheduled in late July and August because of the preferences of American TV broadcasters and to facilitate participation of pro athletes in a few sports, but July-August not a firm, long-standing tradition. As recently as Seoul (1988) and Sydney (2000), the Olympics were held in late September and early October. Why is Tokyo different from Seoul or Sydney?

Money talks. U.S. TV networks pay vastly more for broadcast rights than any other nation does. The American football season, which starts in September, is highly lucrative for American TV networks. Baseball playoffs and the World Series happen in late September and October. The NBA also tips off its season around that time. TV networks don't want to overlap with other lucrative sports broadcasts. Since the inclusion of pro athletes, too, the IOC has felt the need to pin the dates to a narrow window. They aren't going to schedule the Olympics on top of a Grand Slam tennis event. They aren't going to hold the Olympics during the NBA season. The IOC sold itself out to the star power and money of pro athletes, along with billion-dollar American TV contracts, and so late July and August are now the only option.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hmmm but don't the marathon runners usually finish their race by running into the main stadium on the final day?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Anyone blaming the JOC needs to think this through a little more. Even if you accept that the JOC bribed (which all OC's do), the final decision was up to the IOC. The only think you can fault the JOC for doing is pushing their bid more than other Olympic Committees did. Everyone knew at the beginning of the bidding process that Tokyo was going to be an extremely hot Olympics, the IOC decided to just ignore that though. Now they are making these inane decisions to randomly switch the venues.

Was Sapporo even consulted about this? The IOC and the JOC don't suddenly get the determine that there will be a race in Sapporo.

If the event does get moved, it will at least alleviate traffic a bit in Tokyo... Marathons are a scourge for anyone not participating...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Be much better IMHO to just have an Olympic cruise ship that goes to the ports of host cities. No infrastructure built on the backs of taxpayers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

HeckleberryToday  10:58 am JST

Hmmm but don't the marathon runners usually finish their race by running into the main stadium on the final day?

If the weather conditions in Tokyo will make the event "too stressful" for the athletes, why not just run it over a shorter distance?

If the men's drop-out ratio of about 25% in Doha is applied, simply reduce the marathon distance to 30km.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Failing Sapporo, run it partly underground or under Tokyo Bay, or as kohakuebisu suggested above, higher ground in the hills can be much cooler.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a colossal waste of time and money this event is now. It's just become way too big for itself and totally lost the point of what it should be about, the sports!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Won’t it be ironic if they move the marathon to Sapporo next year, and on that day it ends up being cooler or rainy in Tokyo!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

IOC thinks Sapporo is cool in summer but it is wrong. Sapporo is lately as hot as Tokyo in summer. Morning and evening is a little cool but day time is very hot. The average temperature of Sapporo is 34° Celsius and Tokyo is 35° Celsius this August.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh hello IOC. Glad you could join us in the real world. So happy that you could make it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought that they sold the Tokyo Olympics to the world for being a 'compact Olympics'!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think this is a great idea. It should be incorporated into our bid immediately.

Said no one in 2012.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is a great idea! Let's do it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nandakandamandaToday  12:22 pm JST Failing Sapporo, run it partly underground ...

Underground?

from Wikipedia:

The Yamate Tunnel (山手トンネル Yamate Tonneru) carries the Central Circular Route (C2) of the Shuto Expressway in Tokyo, Japan, from the Takamatsu on-ramp in Toshima to near the Ōi Junction in Shinagawa. The overall length is 18.2 km.

The Yamate Tunnel passes through Nishi Shinjuku Junction, which is 2.8975 km on foot from the New National Stadium Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic site. So a route from the stadium to Nishi Shinjuku, take the tunnel to Toshima, turn around and follow the tunnel to Shinagawa, and back via Nishi Shinjuku to the stadium would be a distance of 42.195 km. Just Right

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wait, what? No!!!! I'm going to the inlaw's house in Sapporo next summer to escape the Olympics crowd!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If the weather conditions in Tokyo will make the event "too stressful" for the athletes, why not just run it over a shorter distance?

Then it wouldn't be the marathon that is why. Let's make the 100m race a 50 meter race too, and all the rest as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@mikeylikesit

This is nonsense on both counts. It is impossible to predict the weather precisely months ahead of time, but the overall climate is very predictable. 

Really??? The predictions that you are referring to are based on averages and are not 100% accurate.

Do you think that people can predict years in advance the intensity of the weather for the upcoming years with a 100 percent accuracy? In case of the Olympics, the city are awarded the games several years in advance.

Did anyone predict that there would be an earthquake the same day as the strongest typhoon in decades in the Kanto (Chiba area) last week?

If weather predictions are so accurate then why wasn't the Rugby World Cup not rescheduled for dates to avoid the typhoon years in advance?

Most experts say the predicting weather conditions 6 months in advance is unreliable! Do you know more than the experts?

As for the dates being traditional, the "traditional" date to hold Summer Olympics in Tokyo is October. The most recent four Summer Olympics have all been scheduled in late July and August because of the preferences of American TV broadcasters and to facilitate participation of pro athletes in a few sports, but July-August not a firm, long-standing tradition. As recently as Seoul (1988) and Sydney (2000), the Olympics were held in late September and early October. Why is Tokyo different from Seoul or Sydney?

Tokyo doesn't have a "traditional date" to hold the Summer Olympics because the Olympics is not a Japanese tradition! Scheduling the Summer Olympics during the Summer months is tradition. That is why they are not called the Fall Olympics!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@kurisupisu

It is a really obvious idea which may prevent athletes collapsing and dying from heatstroke.

And if Evan Dunfee had ever run around in Tokyo in the summer then he would be saving money to get to Hokkaido....

Evan Dunfee finished 3rd in Doha, meaning his body can most likely stand this kind of heat and humidity. He is going there to win. In Doha 18 competitors had to forfeit among them some of prior medalists. So he know where is his benefits.

But that do not change the obvious fact than competitors should have their saying in location of competition.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

IOC thinks Sapporo is cool in summer but it is wrong. Sapporo is lately as hot as Tokyo in summer. Morning and evening is a little cool but day time is very hot.

Humidity levels is what makes a difference.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

IOC thinks Sapporo is cool in summer but it is wrong. Sapporo is lately as hot as Tokyo in summer. Morning and evening is a little cool but day time is very hot. The average temperature of Sapporo is 34° Celsius and Tokyo is 35° Celsius this August.

Lots of countries hold it in places with hit summers - Madrid, Barcelona, Sydney. The difference is the humidity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most experts say the predicting weather conditions 6 months in advance is unreliable! Do you know more than the experts?

@Numan - you seem to have misread the post. He said that predicting weather was impossible - exactly your point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Step Two: Move the entire Olympics to Sapporo.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's rubbish...!!.....tell me how World Cup Soccer 2022 in Qatar had selected? There is more than 50℃at day time. No doubt IOC is doing it by some its member's personal benefits like Qatar did. It's better whole Olympics Game Tokyo 2020 will shift to Hokkaido or Siberia to Northern pole...it's no more interesting for Tokyo residents. It's totally controversial act doing by IOC and some Japanese backdoor policy makers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Humidity levels is what makes a difference.

The difference is the humidity.

Humidity is also higher than ever before in Sapporo because of maybe climate change. They say summer becomes very muggy lately.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even Sapporo is gonna be too hot. Just move the starting date to the middle of October. It's not too late to do it. Screw the networks.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is a good idea. Apart from the issue of the heat, I am all in favour of spreading the Olympic events around the country. Why shouldn't residents in Osaka, and Kyoto and Fukuoka, etc, have the opportunity to go and enjoy some events?

The idea that every event should take place in just one city is absurd. The only criticism is that this should have been decided and announced long ago, so that tourists attending the Olympics could have booked their hotels in the right location.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The idea that every event should take place in just one city is absurd.

Um, the proposal Japan made for the Olympics was that all venues would be within an 8km radius. This was Tokyo's proposal, not something imposed upon themselves. If it was absurd, then they shouldn't have proposed it.

Link: https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Ballooning-costs-force-Tokyo-to-rethink-8km-2020-Olympic-plan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Screw the networks.

How brilliant, the Olympics would then be the games that no one saw!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's rubbish...!!.....tell me how World Cup Soccer 2022 in Qatar had selected? There is more than 50℃at day time.

Qatar won by paying massive bribes, obviously. Also, the 2022 World Cup is being moved to winter as they eventually realised the summer heat would be too much.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Alfie Noakes

You'd think that with all the concerns over Drug enhancing doping of athletes, that the IOC would also be aware of the environmental "challenges" posed in order to provide a fair game platform.

As an extreme example, Why not have the next Games held up high in the South American Andes... and see who survives/wins....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess if we were to take this to the Ultimate extreme, then the Winter Olympics will never be held in any Country other than the South Pole.

Perhaps the Single-Country venue idea need re-evaluating ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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