Q&A: The feud over Tokyo's Olympic marathon


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The IOC does not want billions to see TV images of runners sprawled on the ground

It's not even about runner safety. They are more worried about viewer feedback and profits.

64 Tokyo Olympics were held in October, to avoid Tokyo's humid summer weather.

Exactly what everyone says should have happened in the first place.

Tokyo is already spending a "humongous amount

When you are already spending billions, what's a few tens of millions of taxpayer money.

Losing these races also deprives the city of a chance to showcase its award-winning architecture as athletes wind by skyscrapers and shrines

Also helps with traffic congestion. I think more people in Tokyo would be happy with the move because it will free up more streets.

Does Sapporo stand to gain?

Sapporo will gain because it isn't hosting the entire olympics. It will help draw some tourists there but they won't have to deal with the huge costs of hosting the olympics or the aftermath of when it drags down the local economy.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Saying that Olympics needs to be held on summer because of the tv networks and giving the example of NBC's 1 billion, is absolutely meaningless.

Now, we are in 2019, not in 1954 that the sports players are amateurishly playing only in Olympics once in a year.

There is Champions League, NBA, National League Associations, even the waterpolo champions league that the sport players making their earnings. Olympics are already tasting the down trend by spectators and players who earn more and find more excitement in its yearly leagues.

If you just change the season from summer to an another time, you will not find any high-quality player to participate in olympics, they will be rejecting to leave their organizations.

Then, we will be watching second class or amateur players on almost every team sports.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Let the political circus begin!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think the reason they try to hold the Olympics in the summer is because most of the world has long summer vacations for children in the summer. Most of the world is off July and August so you won't have to disrupt the commute of students to school.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Not sure what this means: "The IOC says the decision was made, primarily to consider athletes who must run in the heat. But Koike's allies have characterized it as "an IOC-first decision, not an athletes-first decision."

Er... so Koike's allies' position is an athletes-first decision then?

The IOC's decision will be mutually beneficial, for their own reputation, yes, and for the athletes, surely.

It will be hard for Koike San to continue to take this moral low ground, especially if anything happens to athletes, staff or spectators.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

 Tokyo in its bid described summers as "mild and sunny."

That's not the only blatant lie Japan did to get the Olympics. They also lied about the real cost (not mentioning the stadium fiasco), they lied about their organization capabilities by claiming that the venues will be concentrated in a small region, and so and so on. Now they have no rights to play the little victims once the s.... hits the fan.

The IOC has a lot of responsibilities too in this mess with its corrupted organization which many members supported Japan's bid knowing it was full of lies.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

middle aged woman with overblown ego scorned.... cant get any funnier ... she really should twist the change around for her benefit and the sooner the better

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

300 million USD to move it is a lot of money for a country with an overheating money printer. I say start it in Tokyo at 4:30am. Even on a record day, the temperature should be under 30C by the time the important runners finish. Anyone taking much longer doesn't matter. They can drop out without affecting the placings.

I would like to thank the poster the other day who said the LA Olympics marathon was run in 35C heat. Two wrongs don't make a right, but one wrong makes a precedent that can be used for perspective.

Of course, if the IOC has 300 million USD to spend, move it to Sapporo "for the athletes".

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It is not safe for the athletes to run a marathon in Tokyo in the summer. The safety of the athletes should be of paramount importance. However, Tokyo spent a lot of money to get the Olympics, so perhaps Sapporo should compensate the Tokyo government for the amount of the payment that covers the marathon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can check yourself what the temperature can be like in Tokyo and 30C at 80% humidity can feel like over 40

Those are similar conditions to what Doha was like and if you read the article linked in the text above athletes got really messed up. A slightly knee jerk reaction maybe but it's only one event at the end of the day

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Actually it's men's and women's walking and running marathons, so 4 events.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not only did they refuse to fight fair by candidly acknowledging the oppressive summer conditions here for fear that it would cost them the Games, they've intransigently stuck to their fanciful tatemae weather projections script. In tempting the fates, they have only themselves to blame for this fiasco

“With many days of mild and sunny weather, this period provides an ideal climate for athletes to perform at their best,” their proposal read. Richard Peterkin, an Olympic committee member from 2009-18, said, “In all of the bidding and presentations that they made that I heard, it just never came up.”

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Two of Koike's allies - members of her party in the municipal legislature - say the move will cost Tokyo at least 34 billion yen, or $310 million. Maybe more.

Not clear how they arrived at these figures - it is a free event and ticket sales just to see a lap of the track will not be that high. They are extrapolating the "free advertising" impact. But if the event is run at night, will it really show off Tokyo that well?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tokyo in its bid described summers as "mild and sunny."


2 ( +2 / -0 )

I would like to thank the poster the other day who said the LA Olympics marathon was run in 35C heat. Two wrongs don't make a right, but one wrong makes a precedent that can be used for perspective.

Not disagreeing with you but 35C In California is much different from Tokyo’s 35C in August.

The New York Marathon is this weekend November 3rd.

The Boston Marathon is always the third week in April when leaves are budding

The London Marathon is the last week of April

The Pisa Marathon is in December.

The Tokyo Marathon is March 1st, 2020 when plum trees are in bloom.

The move to Sapporo is the right call.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

 Losing these races also deprives the city of a chance to showcase its award-winning architecture as athletes wind by skyscrapers and shrines, with temples tucked into every corner.


Uh, give me a minute while I wipe the coffee off my computer screen....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You can check yourself what the temperature can be like in Tokyo and 30C at 80% humidity can feel like over 40

Or we know this first hand from living in a Tokyo. News stations without fail warn us of the dangers of heat stroke and we’re only walking to and from the train station to get to work, not running 26 miles at 18 mph. You’re sweating like in a sauna just standing still.

Has there ever been a marathon held in August temperatures and humidity in Tokyo? If not, it’s too much of a risk. Experience of the past trumps all your gray ass faults and flimsy misting sprinklers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )


BAD Choice ot time : Olympics should have been set for October (*given that everyone involved knows August temps in Tokyo are unforgiving)*


Bad move by IOC :IOC moved unilaterally without consulting Tokyo.


Bad Attitude: Koike needs to GET REAL & shed the ego. Tokyo IS too hot for the marathon etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whatever else might be said about the once Hermit Kingdom, the timing of Seoul’s 1988 Olympics, September 17-October 2 was no exercise in self-deception but a candid recognition of reality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow, so Koike was just playing political games this whole time? Wow, and just when I thought she was being very selfish and stubborn. LOL

Well I usually never say this, but I hope that the IOC does win out. And that the marathon is moved to Sapporo. Crossing my fingers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

IOC needs to learn manners. It is as simple as that.

You don't invite yourself to someone else's home and bring 2M guests without asking politely.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I think there's more to this story than meets the eye, and it involves typical infighting and bickering among people on the Japanese side (nobody should fall for the nonsense that Japanese are cooperative and stick together). For years, I've suspected that Koike Yuriko and Olympic organizing committee leader Mori Yoshiro (not Toshiro) despise each other for assorted reasons. I think Mori has always had a hard time taking Koike seriously, and he just found a way to embarrass and humiliate her by going along with the IOC's abrupt decision to move the marathon to Sapporo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why do just have a giant dehumidifier around part of the race

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For the winter Olympics the NHL takes a break so the best of the best can participate in the Olympics. Maybe the soccer and baseball and basketball pro leagues should do the same, hand hold the Olympics in October.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We are behind Koike, firmly, as long as it takes.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

“We are behind Koike, firmly, as long as it takes.”

You haven’t ‘got her back’; instead, you’re standing a long way behind, leaving her out to dry for Japan’s monumental screw up touting mid August as a time of mild weather, peak conditions for athletes to perform at their best.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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