IOC Floats Idea of Moving Tokyo Olympic Events

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October 18, 2016

With an eye toward cutting costs, the International Olympic Committee has given serious consideration to moving some events of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games outside of the host country of Japan.

The new venues would be in Chungju, South Korea, according to reports from Japanese media outlets. The facilities in Chungju played host to events in botht the 2013 World Rowing Championships and the 2014 Asian Games.

The events being targeted are canoeing and rowing. Moving events in those two sports is one option put forward by a panel of experts contracted by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, although that panel recommended a move to a venue within Japan, as an alternative to building brand new facilities in Tokyo Bay. The in-country recommendation is in Miyagi, one of three prefectures devastated by the 2011 Sendai Earthquake and tsunami.

Koike’s panel also recommended using existing venues in the Tokyo area for swimming and volleyball, instead of building from the ground up. The panel estimated total costs already anticipated at 3 trillion yen, which is four times the initial estimate and three times the cost of the 2012 London Olympics.

Koike, Tokyo’s first female governor, has been on the job since July. One of her promises if elected as governor was to cut wasteful spending.

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