Tokyo Under IOC Microscope For 2016 Bid

April 14, 2009: The Tokyo 2016 bid committee is gathering a Who's Who of Japanese officials, celebs and sports stars to greet the International Olympic Committee, which today, April 14, begins its inspection of the city. "[This] is the most important week of my life," Ichiro Kono, chairman and CEO of the Tokyo 2016 bid committee, said in a statement. "But it's not just about me or the Tokyo 2016 bid committee. We are enjoying fantastic domestic support in Tokyo and across Japan for our bid." Tokyo, which last hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964, is the second of four cities being considered to host the 2016 Games, with IOC members there from April 14-20. The IOC reps just finished a tour of Chicago, with Madrid and Rio de Janeiro to follow. Organizers in Tokyo are focusing on several key selling points, including having almost all of the Olympic venues located less than five miles from the main stadium; that 23 of its proposed 34 venues already exist and that land has been secured for the 11 new facilities; and that five of the new venues would be permanent, including the main Olympic stadium, which would hold 100,000 spectators for track and field events and the opening and closing ceremonies. A group of stars who gathered for a pre-IOC visit pep rally included Olympics medal winners Ayumi Tanimoto and Masae Ueno (judo), Yuko Arimori (marathon), Reiko Nakamura (swimming), Hiroyuki Tomita (gymnast) and Kenichi Yumoto (wrestling). The IOC will vote on the host city during a meeting in Copenhagen on Oct. 2. Back to Home Page