The International Olympic Committee has chosen Tokyo to host the 2020 Summer Games. The Japanese city beat out other possible contenders such as Madrid and Istanbul during the Saturday vote in Buenos Aires.
“Congratulations to the city of Tokyo on its election as host of the 2020 Olympic Games,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge. “Tokyo presented a very strong technical bid from the outset – and it needed to in competition with two such high-calibre bids from Istanbul and Madrid. All three cities were capable of staging excellent Games in 2020, but in the end it was Tokyo’s bid that resonated the most with the IOC membership, inviting us to “discover tomorrow” by delivering a well-organised and safe Games that will reinforce the Olympic values while demonstrating the benefits of sport to a new generation.”
The final vote came down to Tokyo and Istanbul after Madrid had been eliminated by the committee following a tiebreaker vote. Ed Hula, editor and founder of AroundThings.com, said in an interview with CNN that the three cities had their strengths and weaknesses.
"Istanbul is the one bid that offers something unique and different," Hula told CNN in a telephone interview from the Buenos Aires committee meeting.
If Turkey won it would have been the first Muslim country to host the games with a median age of 30 years or less. One of the problems with Turkey though was its infrastructure. Were it to be picked then the country would need to fix their roads and means of transportation. Another strike against the city was three dozen Turkish athletes testing positive for drugs this year. Some committee members also felt wary about choosing Istanbul as the host city because Turkey borders on with Syria.
Probably the biggest factor in Tokyo being chosen over Istanbul was the price tag. Istanbul presented a plan to the committee that would have cost $19 billion while Tokyo’s bid was just $5 billion. Tokyo’s government has amassed $4.9 billion for the Olympics and already has a stadium all set for the opening ceremonies and events too. This particular stadium was built for the rugby World Cup in 2017 so it won’t be a part of the Olympic expense.