'Want to generate excitement': Organisers say Olympic flame will still visit every corner of Japan

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Dec 15, 2020, 07:28 PM(IST)

Olympic flame will still visit every corner of Japan: organisers Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Sticking to the original plan before the Tokyo Olympics was postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers on Tuesday said that the Olympic flame will still visit Japan’s 47 prefectures during the traditional torch relay starting on March 25.

Sticking to the original plan before the Tokyo Olympics was postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers on Tuesday said that the Olympic flame will still visit Japan’s 47 prefectures during the traditional torch relay starting on March 25.

The torch relay was scheduled to commence in March 2020 but the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government took the unprecedented decision to postpone the Games.

With concerns surrounding the rising cases in Japan and COVID-19 restrictions in the country, organisers on Tuesday announced that the 121-day tour, which starts in Fukushima and ends in Tokyo’s National Stadium during the Games opening ceremony on July 23, will go ahead as scheduled.

ALSO READ: Messi, Ronaldo, Maradona, Pele all feature in Ballon d'Or Dream Team - Check full XI

The announcement by the organisers came after a poll by NHK broadcaster showed a third of Japanese locals wanting the Tokyo Games to be scrapped amid fears that foreign visitors may cause a further spike in coronavirus cases.

"We want to make sure that everyone's health is secure -- the spectators, the torchbearers, the officials and the citizens in the local areas," said Tokyo Games Vice-Director General Yukihiko Nunomura.

"We want the runners to smile and we want the spectators to smile as they welcome the torch. We want to generate excitement so that people really feel that the Tokyo Olympics are coming."

ALSO READ: #ThisHappened2020: Kohli, Dhoni most mentioned athletes on Twitter, IPL 2020 most tweeted sports hashtags

With Japan battling the third wave of infections, the NHK poll, conducted from December 11-13, showed 32 per cent of respondents wanting the Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled entirely. 

Only 27% said they should go ahead as scheduled and 31% favoured another delay.

To mark 100 days until the start of the tour, Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in the world was illuminated on Tuesday.

Organisers said the full relay route would be announced in February.

Read in App