Tokyo2020 Olympic Torch Relay
On 12 March 2020, the Olympic Flame will be lit at the historic site of Ancient Olympia in Greece. After a week-long initial leg of the Torch Relay in Greece, a Flame Hand-over ceremony will take place at Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens on 19 March 2020. A special aircraft bearing the name “Tokyo 2020 Go” will transport the Olympic Flame to Japan, landing at JASDF Matsushima Air Base in Miyagi prefecture on 20 March 2020. Upon its arrival, Tokyo 2020 will host an Olympic Flame Arrival Ceremony to welcome the Flame and celebrate the commencement of the Olympic Torch Relay on 26 March 2020 from the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima Prefecture. Local children from Ishinomaki city, Higashi-matsushima city and Onagawa-cho in Miyagi prefecture will welcome the symbolic Olympic Flame at the Arrival Ceremony.
Special Guests for Arrival Ceremony
Mr. Tadahiro Nomura and Ms. Saori Yoshida will bring the Olympic Flame from Greece to Japan.
Olympian from Nara Prefecture. Gold medalist in the men’s judo 60kg category in Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, Nomura became the first judo athlete and the first Asian athlete in any sport to win the Olympic gold medal at three consecutive Games. After his retirement, Nomura has been devoted to promoting judo both at home and abroad. He is also a member of the selection panel of the Tokyo 2020 Games medal design competition.
Comment by Tadahiro Nomura
I am very honored to take an important role to bring the flame, which is a symbol of the Olympics, to Japan from Greece. The Olympics for me is a special stage where I have devoted my entire life to challenge. Best of all, Greece brings me back a lot of good memories. I would like to fulfil my great responsibility with the pride and joy of delivering the Olympic flame which will be lit in the ancient Olympia to Japan with my own hands.
Born on 5 October 1982 in Mie prefecture. Graduated from Hisai High School and Chukyo Women’s University (currently, Shigakkan University). She started training in wrestling at age 3 at the Ichishi junior wrestling club opened at home and run by her father, Eikatsu. She won almost every major competition for each level from a young age. In 2002, Yoshida captured her first victory on her debut match. She claimed 13 consecutive world titles up to 2015 and won three Olympic Games: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012. In 2012, she was presented with National Honor Award for achieving 13 consecutive wins including Olympics and world championships. In 2016, she took a silver medal at Rio Olympics and racked up 16 consecutive world titles and 206 individual matches in a row. In January 2019, she announced her retirement after decided to mark the end of her 33-year career.
Comment by Saori Yoshida
When I brought back the Olympic flag from Rio de Janeiro as captain of the Japanese Olympic delegation, I was very excited to welcome the Olympics to Tokyo in 2020.
I retired from wrestling afterwards, and now it is such an honor to play this important role to bring back the Olympic Flame from Greece, home of the Olympic Games. I brace myself up for it.
The Olympic Flame, a symbol of the Olympics, traverses Japan as relay with not only Tokyo 2020 Olympians’ but people’s dreams and hopes.
The flame brought back from Greece will be carried out from Fukushima where the Olympic torch relay starts. I hope to run with the flame someday somewhere, and look forward to seeing the moment of lighting the Olympic cauldron in the New National Stadium.
Special aircraft commissioned to transport the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Flame“TOKYO 2020 Go”
With the support of All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. (ANA) and Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL), Tokyo 2020 will transport the flame from Greece to Japan.
A model of the special aircraft commissioned to transport the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Flame to Japan will also be unveiled. The artwork on the side of the plane is designed to reflect the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Concept “Hope Lights Our Way” and depict the journey of the Olympic Torch Relay; it consists of an Olympic Torchbearer pictogram emblazoned on the front of the aircraft and leads via an ochre-coloured emblem along the side of the plane to the Olympic Torch Relay Emblem on the tail. The flight of this special aircraft will constitute the all-important first stage of the Olympic Torch Relay, a journey that will be continued by the torchbearers on the ground.
The name of the aircraft—TOKYO 2020 Go—incorporates the Japanese word “go” (“号”), the suffix used for the numbering of trains, buses and aircraft; this also has a similar pronunciation to the English “Go!”, implying the start of a journey. The overall name is intended to reflect the plane’s mission to deliver the Flame to the Games and the sense of expectation as the Games near.