Japan to Reconsider Its Venue Plans for 2020 Olympics

September 19, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. revision /rɪˈvɪʒ ən/ (n.) – the act of making changes to improve something
Example: The manager proposed to make some revisions on the project.

2. admonish /ædˈmɒn ɪʃ/ (v.) – to advise someone to do something
Example: The prime minister admonished the officials to stick to the original plan.

3. downscale /ˈdaʊn skeɪl/ (v.) – to reduce in size or extent
Example: The number of workers in the project has been downscaled.

4. sustainable /səˈsteɪ nə bəl/ (adj.) – able to continue for a particular time
Example: After the typhoon, officials are determined to build more sustainable facilities.

5. legacy /ˈlɛg ə si/ (n.) – refers to a property that has existed over a long time and has been handed down from one generation to another
Example: The monument is a lasting legacy of ancient Rome.


Read the text below.
Tokyo’s plans for the 2020 Summer Olympics and the ongoing revision of its bid received positive response from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

John Coates [kohts], IOC vice president and appointed chairman of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission, admonished Tokyo officials to minimize construction costs for the upcoming 2020 Olympics.

In a conference during his three-day Tokyo visit, Coates encouraged officials to use existing venues and to build temporary grandstands. He also added that with good programming, venues designed for just one sport could be used for two sports. 

Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Olympics, pledging $4.5 billion for new constructions. It also gave its word to provide sports venues within eight kilometers of the Olympic Village. However, Tokyo officials were prompted to reconsider its venue plans because of the rising construction and labor costs, which were partly caused by the 2011 disaster and the consumption tax hike in Japan.

For instance, the kayak sprint venue construction would cost 15 times higher than the proposed budget because of the construction of dams and the relocation of the waste disposal facility. To downscale the cost, one of the proposals is to use the existing basketball and badminton facilities instead of building a new one.

Also, bids to demolish the National Stadium built in 1964 did not push through because of cost concerns. The next rounds of bids are yet to be announced, according to a Japan Sport Council official. 

Coates, as well as the other members of the Tokyo 2020 committee, was very satisfied with Tokyo’s preparations. He said that the IOC aims to see venues that can create sustainable legacies.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with using existing venues than building new ones for the 2020 Olympics? Why or why not?
·         What could be the disadvantage of using old facilities in hosting the event?

Discussion B

·         Do you agree on a country spending a lot of money on hosting an international event? Why or why not?
·         What are the benefits of being chosen as a host country for an international event?

September 19, 2014