Tokyo 2020’s Olympic Torch Relay Route Expected to Ignite Enthusiasm Across Japan
The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) today unveiled the Olympic Torch Relay route over which the symbolic Olympic Flame will be proudly relayed to a huge number of local areas in Japan in the final 121 days culminating in the Olympic Games, igniting enthusiasm across Japan and around the world. Tokyo 2020 also unveiled the torchbearer uniforms, the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Background Music and the application guidelines for members of the public eager to participate as inspirational torchbearers in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay.
Commencing its journey on 26 March 2020 from the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima Prefecture, the Olympic flame will traverse all 47 prefectures of Japan, passing by many of the nation’s most famous and cherished sights, for a period of 121 days, serving as a symbol of the Olympic Games and visiting 857 local municipalities along the way. Sites for the celebrations planned in each prefecture have also been announced. The route has been designed to ensure that large numbers of people across Japan will be able to line the roadsides, cheer on the torchbearers and create a festive atmosphere. Around 98% of Japan’s population live within one hour by car or train of the proposed route of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay route will take in World Heritage Sites such as Mount Fuji and Itsukushima shrine and other historic locations and popular places, including favourite local community spots, with the charm of each being showcased during the Relay. The Relay will also take in areas that are continuing to recover from natural disasters, such as the Tohoku region, which was struck by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
In line with the concept “Share Your Light”, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Torch Relay will raise excitement and create a festive-like atmosphere for the Paralympics.
This expresses the sentiment that the light emitted from new individual encounters will be brought together to engender harmony and will be shone brightly on society. It also demonstrates Tokyo 2020’s determination to help achieve a fully-inclusive society by the gathering and meeting of the “light” – human beings – who provide hope and support to others through the Paralympic Torch Relay.
Source: The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Emblem incorporates three rectangular shapes arranged to depict the dynamic flames of a torch. In addition, a “ukiyo-e” woodblock printing technique known as “fukibokashi” has been used to produce graduated tones across two colours. One of these – vermilion – produces an energetic, loving and passionate image, and is combined with ochraceous, reminiscent of the earth, to create a festive feeling evoking Japan as well as the effect of a flame.
The torch bears the motif of a cherry blossom, Japan’s most familiar and best-loved flower. With the arrival of the cherry blossom season in March 2020, the Olympic Torch will be integrated with the “Hope Lights Our Way” concept of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay and will commence its journey across Japan.
Uniting tradition and modern technology, the shape of the torch resembles that of a Japanese traditional “Sakuramon” cherry blossom emblem. It was shaped into this form using the same aluminium extrusion technology used in the manufacture of Japan’s famous bullet trains. It forms a seamless, single piece symbolising the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, created by fusing Japanese tradition and modern technology.
The manufacture of the torch embodies the spirit of recovery and consideration for sustainability. Aluminium construction waste from temporary housing built in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake was used to create it, transforming materials that witnessed the rebuilding of shattered lives into a symbol of peace. This will convey to the world the extent to which the affected areas are recovering, one step at a time.
The torch is also designed to depict the shape of a flame. The five flames generated from the petal unite at the centre of the torch, lighting the way with greater brilliance. A number of technological innovations have been deployed in the combustion section that lights the torch, including catalytic reaction.
The weight and shape of the torch grip is designed to make it easy for anyone to handle. It includes a positioning mark indicating the front of the torch designed for those with a visual impairment. The torch is simply created for everyone.
– Length: 710 mm
– Weight: 1.2 kg (approx. 1kg body plus 200g fuel cell)
– Colour: Sakura gold
– Main material: Aluminium (30% of which is sourced from recycled aluminium recovered from temporary housing)
Source: The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
– 12 March: Lighting Ceremony in Olympia, Greece
– 12-19 March: Greek leg of the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay
– 19 March: Handover Ceremony in Athens, Greece
– 20 March: Flame arrives at Matsushima Airfield, Miyazaki, Japan
– 20-21 March: Flame on display in Miyagi Prefecture
– 22-23 March: Flame on display in Iwate Prefecture
– 24-25 March: Flame on display in Fukushima Prefecture
– 26 March: Japanese leg of the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay starts from Fukushima, taking in all 47 prefectures of Japan
The Olympic flame is due to be handed over to the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Athens on Tuesday, October 31.
Panathenaic Stadium: Facts & Figures
6th century BC: Simple racecourse
330 BC: First stadium built for the Panathenaic Games
144 AD: Rebuilt in marble (50,000 seats)
4th century: Stadium abandoned
1869: Stadium excavated
1896: After renovation the main venue for the first modern Olympics
2004: Used for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games
Programme Handover Ceremony
The “PyeongChang 2018” Handover ceremony will take place tomorrow October 31
The Handover ceremony of the Olympic Flame for the XXIII PyeongChang 2018 winter Olympic Games will take place tomorrow, October 31st, at the Panathenaic Stadium, in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos.
The Handover ceremony will begin at 11.00 with sport – cultural events from Greece and the Republic of Korea.
The Greek General Gymnastics Team “Olympiada Thakomakedonon”, consisting of 90 young male and female participants will present the programme “the Wolves and the Moon”.
The Republic of Korea will create a lyrical atmosphere with dances and songs from the Republic of Korea and will also present the Olympic Torch Relay theme.
The last torchbearer who will enter the Panathenaic Stadium is the champion in skiing Ioannis Proios. Second to last torchbearer will be the former speed skating athlete KIM Ki-hoon, three-time gold medalist of the Republic of Korea.
The High Priestess is the actress Katerina Lehou, the choreographer is Artemis Ignatiou, while the musical composer is Yiannis Psimadas.
Today, the Olympic Flame will be lit in Olympia, marking the start of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay.
Route & Schedule
October 24; Lighting Ceremony Ancient Olympia, Greece – Leg 1: Greece
October 31; Handover Ceremony Panathinaiko Stadium, Athens, Greece
November 1; Arrival of the Flame in Incheon – Leg 2: Republic of Korea
Olympic Flame-Lighting Ceremony
Date: Tuesday 24 October 2017
PROGRAMME OF THE LIGHTING CEREMONY
12:00 – Opening of the Ceremony
– Olympic Rings: a synthesis
– Olympic Anthem – Hoisting of the Olympic Flag
– National Anthem of South Korea – Hoisting of South Korea’s Flag
– National Anthem of Greece – Hoisting of the Greek Flag
The anthems are performed by the Children’s and Youth Choirs of Lavreotiki and Markopoulo Municipalities
– “The Light of Olympia”, Takis Doxas’ poem recited by Mr. Yiannis Stankoglou
– Address by the Mayor of Ancient Olympia, Mr. Efthymios Kotzas
– Address by the President of the “PyeongChang” Organising Committee, Mr. Lee Hee-beom
– Address by the President of the International Olympic Committee, Mr. Thomas Bach
– Address by the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Mr. Spyros Capralos
12:25 – Entry of the designated officials in the Temple of Hera
– Ritual of the Lighting Ceremony at the Temple of Hera
– Entry of the High Priestess and the Priestesses into the Ancient Stadium with the Olympic Flame
– Dance performance by the Priestesses
12:50 – Handing over of the Olympic Flame by the High Priestess to the first Torchbearer
– Departure of the first Torchbearer for the Pierre de Coubertin Monument
– Opening of the Olympic Torch Relay