"Citius! Altius! Fortius!" are three words, of Latin origin, which mean respectively faster, higher, stronger and represent the Olympic motto, adopted when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded.
On 23 June 1894, by Pierre de Coubertin, the International Olympic Committee was born, an independent non-profit organization with the aim of building a better world through sport. The idea of reviving the Olympic Games of ancient Greece fascinated Coubertin, who proposed to revitalize Olympism as a philosophy of life. This same Olympism and its principles are codified in a Charter, adopted by the IOC for the organization, operation and celebration of the Olympic Games. Under the Charter, with regard to the Committee's mission and role, there are a number of elements that it is important to focus on, including, for example: support for ethics and good governance in sport, action against all forms of discrimination regarding the Olympic Movement, the promotion of safe sport and the protection of athletes from abuse. The first Olympic Games were celebrated in Athens, Greece, two years after the creation of the Committee. In 1914 the flag with the five rings of different colours, representing the five continents united by Olympism, was adopted.
The Olympic Games are held every four years and this year there would be a new edition, in Tokyo, Japan, from July 24 to August 9. Because of Covid-19, this event too has unfortunately been postponed to 2021.
However, it is an equally important historical moment because, since the birth of the Olympic Committee, Tokyo 2020 is the first edition of an Olympics to be postponed; over the years some editions have been cancelled due to the war but never has any Olympics been postponed and never has it been held in a year that ends with an odd number.
It will therefore be an edition destined to go down in history, not only for the circumstances that led to its postponement, but also for the structure and innovation that the Japanese edition has decided to introduce in the Olympic Games. Let us try to understand in brief what we should expect from it.
The innovations that will be introduced all seem to be inspired by the basic idea of the IOC to build a better world through sport; Tokyo 2020 aims to convey this positive message and aims to be a sustainable, inclusive and innovative Olympics.
In fact, the organizers are confident to cut down to zero the CO2 emissions of the edition thanks to the use of renewable energy and a wide use of recycled materials. In addition, Tokyo 2020 stands as a champion of human rights, values of diversity and inclusion, including through a series of events and policies designed by the organizers.
Finally, a fundamental aspect of these Olympics is the technology that will be used: the organizers have prepared some robots that will act as assistants to the spectators, have studied a 3D Tracking technology for the athletes and have confirmed the presence of Mixed Reality, a combination of virtual reality and augmented reality that will allow to fully reproduce the arenas where the games will take place.
The enthusiasm for such an important edition seems to be further amplified by the health crisis that has hit the whole world, because, as the Chairman of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination and Legal Affairs Commission, John Coates, also said: "The Olympic flame represents the light at the end of the tunnel".
The Olympic Games must be a symbol of hope for people around the world, showing that the pandemic has not been able to extinguish our spirit of collective resilience.
In collaboration with Matteo Bergamini of the Japan 2020 project
Translated by Noemi Monaco