From Rio to Tokyo, the countdown for 2020 is on!


Architect's impression of Ariake Arena in Tokyo, which will host the volleyball competition of the 2020 Olympics.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 21, 2016 - With the dust still to settle on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, attention is already shifting to Tokyo 2020 -now 1433 days out, after the Olympic Flag was returned tonight from Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes to International Olympic Committe (IOC) President Thomas Bach, who in turn handed it over to Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike.

The flag handover was a segment in the Closing Ceremony of Rio 2016 tonight at the iconic Maracana Stadium, right next to the legendary Maracanazinho which hosted the volleyball at these Olympic Games.

Tokyo sees the Olympic Games return there after they were first hosted in the Japanese capital in 1964. For volleyball especially there is special significance and emotion, as it was in Tokyo 1964 that the sport was first officially introduced to the Olympic Programme.

The Games of the XXXII Olympiad will begin on Friday 24 July with the Opening Ceremony and wrap up on Sunday 9 August when the Olympic Flame will be extinguished and the Olympic Flag handed over to the organisers of the 2024 Games. Both the Opening and the Closing Ceremonies will be held at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, which is undergoing an extensive facelift for the event.

Both volleyball and beach volleyball venues will be within the Tokyo Bay Zone, together with 20 more facilities for a variety of different sports.

The indoor competition will be held at the to-be-built Ariake Arena, designed for 12,000 spectators, on area reclaimed from the sea. The Ariake area will also host cycling, gymnastics and tennis at Tokyo 2020.

Beach volleyball will be played in a temporary, 12,000-capacity arena in Shiokaze Park, with a backdrop of the iconic Rainbow Bridge -a double-decker suspension bridge linking Shibaura Pier with the Odaiba waterfront development. The Beach Volleyball Arena will be about three kilometres southest of Ariake Arena.

Shiokaze Park will also be home to the triathlon and road cycling events of Tokyo 2020.

Over Rainbow Bridge with Shiokaze Park (upper right corner), where the Tokyo 2020 Beach Volleyball Arena will be constructed.

Tokyo, the first Asian city to host the competition for a second time, has been preparing for the 2020 Olympics since 7 September 2013, when it was awarded the Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its Session in Buenos Aires. Tokyo outbid the other two candidates of Madrid and Istanbul.

Looking even further ahead, the hosts of the 2024 Olympic Games will become known on 13 September 2017 at the IOC Session in Lima. Budapest, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome are in the running.

In the meantime other key events to focus on between now and Tokyo 2020 are the Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna, Austria in 2017 and the Men's Volleyball World Championship in Italy and Bulgaria and Women's Volleyball World Championship in Japan - both in 2018.

Related links:
- Tokyo 2020 official website
- Tokyo 2020 on the IOC website
- 2024 host city election news on the IOC website


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