Saturday, July 24, 2021

Organisers of Tokyo Olympics open athletes’ village to media

Organisers of the Tokyo Olympics opened the athletes’ village to the media today, showing off apartments and a timber-laced shopping plaza where 11,000 athletes would stay and mingle during the sporting extravaganza.

The once-delayed Games are due to start on July 23 amid concern that the influx of thousands of people from around the world would contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

Athletes will be shuttled in and out of the village and be tested for the coronavirus every day. Olympic rules ban singing and chanting during events, with masks required at almost all times.

Saburo Kawabuchi, mayor of the Tokyo 2020 athletes’ village said that, they want this to be an athletes’ village that the athletes will remember, but at the same time they must follow very strict rules about masks.

He added except when eating, training, competing and sleeping, they must wear masks constantly, which is a very trying circumstance for global athletes.

Organisers were originally planning to feed residents of the village in vast dining halls – the largest with a capacity to seat 4,500 people.

But now, organisers will ask athletes to dine alone, maintain social distancing from others and wipe down surfaces after eating to curb the spread of the virus.

The shopping area of the village features an automatic teller machine, dry cleaner, post office, bank and courier counter.

The wooden plaza, which draws on Japanese minimalist design aesthetics, follows the Tokyo 2020 theme of using timber in the construction of Olympics venues, including the National Stadium.

The 2.4 billion yen (22 million dollar) shopping area was made from 40,000 pieces of timber donated by 63 Japanese municipal governments.

Each donated piece is marked with the name of the area that provided the wood.

After the Olympics, it will be dismantled and the timber returned to the donating cities for reuse in local facilities.

The apartment complex abutting the shopping plaza was built on reclaimed land and designed to house about 12,000 people in 23 buildings.

It includes shops, a park and a school. The buildings will be converted into flats after the Olympics.

The development of the housing project cost the Tokyo government 54 billion yen, including road work and infrastructure.

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