(ATR) A ceremony in the heart of Tokyo will commemorate the three year countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics on Monday, July 24.
According to Tokyo 2020, the ceremony will provide an opportunity for the Japanese public to engage with the Games. More opportunities of how people can connect with and support the Games will be announced during the ceremony that takes place at Oval Plaza at the Toranomon Hills Mori Tower.
Athletes and celebrities will be on hand to announce the new promotions, including London 2012 Olympic silver medalist Homare Sawa, television personality Chris Peppler and Rio 2016 Paralympic medalist Takuro Yamada.
The ceremony will also feature a remix of the traditional dance song "Tokyo Gorin Ondo", which celebrates the previous Olympics held in Tokyo in 1964. The remixed version of the song includes new lyrics, a new arrangement and new bon odori dance moves.
The special ceremony will be immediately followed by a meeting of the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board led by president Yoshiro Mori. Media are invited to attend the opening remarks of the EB.
The EB will be followed by a press conference with Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Hikariko Ono.
The Tokyo 2020 Games are scheduled for July 24 to Aug. 9.
Austria Welcomes Beach Volleyball Championships
The world’s best beach volleyball players will descend upon Vienna, Austria at the end of the week for the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World Championships 2017.
The world championships begin July 28 as 48 men’s and women’s teams prepare for the 10-day tournament. Now in its 11th edition, the competitors are seeking bragging rights and the $1 million in cash prizes available.
This year marks the second time the tournament is being held in Austria, following Klagenfurt 16 years ago.
"The FIVB and the entire volleyball family is looking forward to experiencing the warm welcome and fantastic hosting credentials that Austria has already showed us when the country staged the 2001 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Klagenfurt," FIVB president Ary Graça said in a statement.
Two men and two women will be crowned beach volleyball champions on Aug. 6.
BMX Champs Return to U.S.
The International Cycling Union converges upon Rock Hill, South Carolina this week for the 2017 UCI BMX World Championships.
The 22nd edition of the BMX championships begins on July 25 and marks the second time the event is being held in the United States. Louisville, Kentucky held the event in 2001.
More than 3,000 amateur and 300 professional athletes from 40 countries are expected to attend the five-day championships.
Athletes will compete in disciplines including: Elite Women, Elite Men, Junior Women, Junior Men, Elite Women Time Trial, Elite Men Time Trial, Junior Women Time Trial and Junior Men Time Trial.
Competition concludes on July 30.
Barcelona Celebrates 25 Years
The 25th anniversary of the 1992 Olympics next week was almost going to be forgotten.
The Barcelona city government, led by a mayor who was a teenager at the time of the Games, initially said it wanted the anniversary to be marked in a low key manner.
But a near revolt months ago by some of the 38,000 volunteers who served during the Olympics convinced the leftist government of the city to expand the celebration.
Former CEO Josep Miquel Abad along with a number of medalists from ’92 were part of the campaign. Pascal Maragall, the mayor who led the city through the Olympics, was another voice who could not be ignored.
"The Olympics changed the city and placed Barcelona on the map," says Maragall, now 76 and suffering Alzheimer's disease.
Current mayor Ada Colau will preside over the July 25 tribute for Barcelona with IOC President Thomas Bach and International Paralympic Committee President Philip Craven.
A reenactment of the torch relay will end with a big party in Placa Catalunya, one of the main public spaces during the Olympics. The niece of Maragall, Elisabeth Maragall, a medalist from Barcelona will be the first torch bearer.
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Written by Kevin Nutley and Ed Hula.
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