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The IOC Evaluation Commission listen to a presentation from Aki Taguchi, Paralympic shooter
Tokyo 2016 hopes burn brightly


17 Apr 2009
Some of Japan's finest sports heroes, smiling children and cutting-edge technologies today helped Tokyo 2016 guide the International Olympic Committee Evaluation Commission on a tour of Tokyo's existing and proposed Olympic and Paralympic venues, showcasing the most compact, sustainable and efficient Games concept ever.

In a special moment at the Kasumigaoka National Stadium, the 1964 Olympic flame was re-enacted in the cauldron where it burnt last millennium, raising hopes for its future return in 2016.

With Tokyo proposing an ultra-convenient Games for athletes and spectators alike that sees 97% of venues within an 8km radius of the Olympic Stadium, the IOC Evaluation Commission were able to visit 28 out of 34 Olympic and Paralympic venues in just a single day.

At Sea Forest -- the island in Tokyo Bay reclaimed from the sea -- the IOC's 13-member delegation became part of the future of Tokyo, joining local children to plant saplings that will grow to 3m high inside three years, as part of a transformation programme that will see 1,000 hectares of new green spaces introduced to Tokyo by 2016.

The delegation started their tour in Tokyo Bay, seeing first-hand where a new 100,000-seat Olympic Stadium will be developed by 2016 and how the waterfront will be transformed as part of a major legacy from the Games. The guests were given high-tech goggles to be transported into athletes' shoes to explore a full Olympic Stadium in 2016 through the power of virtual reality.

Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara personally guided the IOC Evaluation Commission, alongside IOC Member and IOC Vice President Chiharu Igaya, IOC Member Shunichiro Okano, Chair and CEO of Tokyo 2016 Dr. Ichiro Kono, JOC President Tsunezaku Takeda, Chair of the Tokyo 2016 Athletes' Commission and double Olympic medallist Mikako Kotani, and Vice Chair of the Tokyo 2016 Athletes' Commission and Olympic volleyball champion Yuko Arakida.

Later at Kasumigaoka National Stadium, which will host the start of the Olympic Marathon and Football competition, Tokyo 2016 unveiled its official Tokyo 2016 Bid Support Runner, Naoko Takahashi, who won women's marathon gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

The tour concluded at The Yoyogi National Stadium, with thousands of spectators greeting the IOC Evaluation Commission for the International Skating Union World Team Trophy 2009 in Figure Skating and a special demonstration in their honour.
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