The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) today announced an outline of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay planned for 2021. The Olympic Torch Relay will start its journey on 25 March 2021 from the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima Prefecture and then traverse all 47 prefectures across Japan. In principle, the route and the schedule of the Relay will remain as originally planned.
As the year 2021 will mark the 10th anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay aims to showcase the recovery of the areas worst affected by the disaster, in line with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay concept ‘Hope Lights Our Way’. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will additionally symbolise the light at the end of the dark tunnel; a beacon of hope for the world in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Games, themselves a symbol of the resilience, the unity and the solidarity of humankind.
Outline of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay in 2021
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay will commence on 25 March 2021 and travel for 121 days across Japan. The scheduled dates for each prefecture in 2021 will be one day earlier than the originally scheduled dates in 2020; i.e. the days of the week will match the previous schedule. Details of the schedule for each prefecture are provided in the appendix.
Number of Celebration Events
Celebration — a torch arrival ceremony – held when the last torchbearer competes the final section of the day — will be hosted on all days when runners are participating in the Relay, with the exception of the final day, when the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is scheduled to take place.
The Olympic Torchbearers
Those confirmed as Olympic Torchbearers before the announcement of the Games’ postponement will be given priority in the assignment of running slots for the revised Relay. It is possible that the final roster of torchbearers may vary, depending on the candidates’ schedules. Tokyo 2020 will review detailed scheduling with them.
Local municipalities, the route and Celebration venues
In principle, the same local municipalities will manage Olympic Torch Relay segments in 2021. The route and Celebration venues will also be retained as planned; however changes may be necessary as a result of other unavoidable circumstances.
Note: The planned route and location of celebration venues in local municipalities may also be reviewed in the light of the COVID-19 situation.
Operation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay
In cooperation with all Games officials and stakeholders, we will host a Games fit for a post-COVID-19 world. Tokyo 2020 has therefore been looking at how a more simplified and efficient Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay can be staged. The points being discussed include:
- Slimming down the size of the vehicle convoys
- Simplifying the Grand Start and Celebration events by reviewing the decorations and equipment provided at venues
- Improving the efficiency of other aspects of the Relay operation and preparations for the Relay, including a review of the number of officials and other staff involved
Countermeasures against COVID-19 during the Olympic Torch Relay
Tokyo 2020 is reviewing a number of COVID-19 countermeasures for the Torch Relay consulting with the experts and the health authority in the aim of ensuring a safe and secure event, and we are planning to announce details as soon as these have been decided.