Japanese Olympic Games Torch Ceremony Scaled Back Due to Coronavirus Fears

By Jeremy Del Nero on 8 March 2020
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The organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are scaling back the torch ceremony due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Traditionally, the torch is lighted at the historic site of ancient Olympia in Greece and relayed to the host city where it’s used to light the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremonies.  The lighting ceremony will take place on March 12, 2020, to be followed by a weeklong torch relay in Greece. On March 19, 2020, the torch will be presented to representatives of the Japanese Olympic Committee at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. Olympic champions Nomura Tadahiro and Yoshida Saori will bring the torch back to Japan.

The torch will be flown in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a special Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay livery that depicts the torch’s journey, starting with a pictogram of an Olympic torchbearer at the front of the aircraft.

The organizing committee had planned to send 140 Japanese children to Greece to give the flame a sendoff at the handover ceremony but those plans have been cancelled.

It will then be flow to Japan Air Self Defense Force JASDF Matsushima Air Base in Miyagi Prefecture and the Olympic Torch Relay in Japan will start at an Olympic Flame Arrival Ceremony on March 26 at J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima Prefecture. Plans for local schoolchildren to attend have also been cancelled.

“It’s a gut-wrenching decision not to be able to let them perform,” said organizing committee chairman Yoshiro Mori.

Starting March 26, the flame will be relayed around Japan for four months.  The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are slated to start on July 24.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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