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Tokyo 2020

Summer Olympics countdown: Olympic Village opens in Tokyo

The countdown to the Tokyo Games has begun and the Harumi Olympic Village has opened, with less than 10 days to go.

Summer Olympics countdown: Olympic Village opens in Tokyo

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 14 July 2021 11:19 AM GMT

The Harumi Olympic Village is located at the heart of the capital overlooking Tokyo Bay, which accommodates up to 18,000 athletes and their support staff. In the past Olympic games, a welcome ceremony was customarily held upon the arrival of the team, but it was canceled this time. Under normal circumstances, the Olympic Village offers a place where athletes can interact across countries and competitions, and the teams of each country decide the length of their stay. However, at the Tokyo Games, the period for staying in the village is shortened as a measure against coronavirus. Athletes can enter the village 5 days before the start of the competition and stay until 2 days after the end of the competition.

The village consists of three main areas - the residential area, the operation area, and the village plaza. The residential building accommodates 18,000 beds and is designed as a barrier-free housing to suit the people using the wheelchair. The bed is made of recyclable corrugated cardboard. The main dining hall is open 24 hours a day and accommodates approximately 3000 seats, with 700 kinds of menus to meet various dietary needs and eating habits.

The three-story complex comprises a fitness center, a casual dining room, a doping testing facility, and a general clinic. The fitness center is equipped with 600 machines in the vast space of 3,000 square meters. According to the Tokyo Games' playbook that details the rules for corona measures, it is necessary to wear a mask when training at the fitness center of the Village, and in the main dining hall, keep a distance of 2 meters from other people. In addition to the fitness center, there is a park facing the bay and a walking path on the premises.

The general clinic consists of eight clinical departments such as 24-hour emergency, orthopedics and internal medicine. As a measure against coronavirus, an additional 24-hour emergency room and an outpatient clinic are set up separately in another building for corona testing and treating those with symptoms and infection. Athletes are required to take daily corona tests during their stay in the Village. Banks, cafes, post offices, and general stores are located in the village plaza area which is designed to meet athletes' everyday needs.

The entry of athletes from all over the world will be in full swing in the village from this week. Over 1,000 athletes from 200 nations are expected to participate in the games. Currently, foreign visitors are banned from entering Japan as a measure against the corona outbreak, and spectators are barred from most of the events. People can still watch games on screens and make bets on bookmakers in Japan, but many athletes will be playing without cheers from audiences in the Tokyo Olympic stadiums.

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