Earlier today in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the International Olympic Committee held the final bidding competition between the three finalist ciities competing for the rights to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, with Madrid, Spain, and Istanbul, Turkey making their final push to convince the Olympic Committee to vote for their respective bids.
While Tokyo was initially expected to easily win the bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games once it lost the 2016 bid to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami (along with the ensuing problems involving TEPCO and its own issues) was judged to have made the bid more difficult to consider in the wake of Madrid and Istanbul submitting their respective bids for the games.
However, it seems that Tokyo's bid, which focused on the ready availability of the appropriate infrastructure since holding the 1964 Summer Olympic Games was enough to satisfy the whole of the IOC, with Istanbul's bid being scrutinized more heavily due to alleged human rights violations earlier this year by the Turkish government as a result of protesters clashing against police and fighting against the urban development plan for the Taksim Gezi Park, with ripple effects still making themselves apparent along with other problems involving Turkish athletes and doping, another hot button for the IOC in recent months.
Madrid's bid was rejected by the committee in the first round of voting, this despite the city previously spending millions in previous infrastructure improvements in preparation for its bid, though with the ongoing economic crisis gripping the whole of Europe and hitting Spain especially hard, the committee may have felt that the financial stability of the additional preparations needed would have been at risk, along with additional negative attention also due to Spanish athletes and doping.
For now, even with the ongoing problems facing Japan in terms of dealing with the perception of Fukushima and the recent plans calling for an ice wall to contain the radiated water leaking from the plant, Tokyo scoring the Olympic Games could be considered a major success after 6 years of effort to host another Summer Olympic Games and a bright spot following 2 years of slow painful recovery dealing with the fallout from the Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima disaster.
Jacques Rogge Announcement Image via Fabrice Coffrin/AFP/Getty Images