As you’ve probably heard, Tokyo was formally selected as the host of the 2020 Olympics, beating out Madrid and then Istanbul. The activities will be held from July 24 to Aug. 9, 2020, under the theme, “Discover Tomorrow.” The initial reaction has been split. There were scenes of jubilation in Japan early Sunday, mixed with criticism that Japan has more important things to deal with like Fukushima. However, the fact that attention from the international community will increase exponentially is probably a good thing.

For your convenience, here is a round-up of many of the reactions and preemptions leading up to the announcement.

A Reuters photographer snapped this great shot the moment the bid was announced.


And then citizens in Tokyo formed a “Thank you” in the civic square.


Everyone seemed to be excited about the Olympics, except TV Tokyo.


every TV channel except TV Tokyo (bottom right) simultaneously reported the announcement

Ahead of the announcement, Tokyo-based digital media producer, artist and runner Joseph Tame ran 385km (240 miles) on the streets of Tokyo, tracking his path and “drawing” the Tokyo 2020 emblem – all 83 petals.


In his 1988 film “Akira,” Katsuhiro Ootomo makes an amazing prediction, accurately setting the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. My friend Ashley Rawlings sez in a FB post:

It’s curious how things come full circle. “Akira” (1988) was possibly the first encounter I had with Japanese visual culture when I was about 11, and it affected me enormously. The film is set in Neo-Tokyo, built some time after WWIII, and it’s 2019, the year before the city is due to hold the 2020 Olympics. This epic scene toward the end of the film takes place in the city’s Olympic Stadium and the mutation, as in so many aspects of postwar visual culture, is a legacy of post-Hiroshima anxieties about radiation. So, approximately 20 years after seeing this film, here I am today, in the city that has just been awarded the 2020 Olympics, but against a backdrop of renewed fear about radiation. I just hope that having the Olympics here can bring the kind of international scrutiny needed to push the government to do more in Fukushima, give Japan a new boost of confidence, and maybe help open this country up more to the rest of the world.


Yahoo Japan put together a lovely interactive piece celebrating the announcement

Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 11.38.12 AM

And someone has already created a Google map of Tokyo 2020 Olympics venue plan:

Twitter users were touched to discover that “Congratulations Tokyo” was trending on Twitter in Istanbul. It also recalled memories of Turkish Airlines captain pilot Orhan Suyolcu who saved 215 Japanese stranded in Tehran during the 1985 Iran-Iraq war.


Finally, this is what Zaha Hadid’s new national stadium will look like when it’s completed in 2019.

Zaha Hadid Stadium

And this is what SANAA’s stadium would have looked like if they had been chosen.