Tokyo Changes Three Olympic Venues to Save on Budget

May 13, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

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

1. venue / ˈvenjuː/ (n.) – the location of an event or action
Example: Our school will be the venue for the basketball game next week.

2. cut down / kʌt daʊn / (v. phrase) – to reduce or lessen
Example: The government will cut down its budget for education this year.

3. pledge / ˈpledʒ / (v.) – to formally commit to fulfill something
Example: The organization pledged to provide free housing for all the participating athletes.

4. hurdle /ˈhɝːdl̩ / (n.) – a difficult challenge or obstacle to overcome
Example: The boy did not allow his injured leg to be a hurdle during the race.

5. estimate / ˈɛs təˌmeɪt / (v.) – to predict the worth or value of something
Example: The budget for the event is estimated to be at $10,000.


Read the text below.
The International Olympic Committee has allowed the organizers of the 2020 Summer Olympics to change three of the competition venues. This is part of a plan to cut down the budget for the event. 

In September 2013, Tokyo won the hosting rights for the Summer Olympics against Istanbul and Madrid.  This makes Tokyo the first Asian city to host the Olympic Games twice, much to the bidding team’s delight. The first time that Tokyo hosted the event was in 1964.

The preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics was expected to be practical and within the set budget. But because of the increased construction and labor costs, the optimism seems to be dying down.

Initially, the Tokyo organizers pledged that around 80 percent of the sports venues would be within eight kilometers of the Olympic Village. But in order to save around $1.7 billion, the organizers decided to use existing facilities that are far from the Village. The events that will be held in other existing facilities will be basketball, canoe slalom [kuh-NOO SLAH-luh m], and equestrian [ih-KWES-tree-uh n]. Other venues might still change in the coming months, the organizers said.

But despite all these hurdles, Japan expects that the 2020 Summer Olympics will have the same positive effect as the 1964 Games. The country estimates that its economy will improve by about three trillion yen after the Games. All the infrastructures to be built for the Olympics are expected to contribute to the country’s tourism and possibly improve the lifestyle in Tokyo.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you could suggest other existing venues in Japan for the Summer Olympics, what would it be and why?
·         Aside from helping improve the economy, how else can hosting the Olympics help Japan?

Discussion B

·         Do you think countries should allocate more budget for sports? Why or why not?
·         What are the traditional sports in your country? Kindly describe them briefly.

May 13, 2015