Despite Risks, Tokyo Takes Summer Olympics 2020

Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Tokyo will host the Summer Olympics in 2020, after beating Istanbul and Madrid in the final push for the coveted honor. The Japanese capital last hosted the Games in 1964.

Madrid was eliminated Saturday in the first round of voting by the International Olympics Committee after final presentations in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires.  Istanbul fell in the next round.

Image: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan celebrates with members of the Tokyo bid committee as Jacques Rogge President of the International Olympic Committee announces Tokyo as the city to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Game during a ceremony in Buenos AirTokyo 2020 delegation celebrates as city is awarded Summer Games during 125th IOC session, Buenos Aires.

The race was tight, with all three cities carrying major risks.

Civil war in Turkey’s neighbor Syria presented concerns for Istanbul’s bid, while Madrid is weighed down by financial troubles.

The Japanese capital faced concerns about the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Hosting the Olympics could be a huge boost for Tokyo. The honor brings in massive amounts of tourism revenue and creates an opportunity for a prominent place on the world stage.

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All three finalists had made Olympic bids before. This was the fifth for Istanbul, the third in a row for Madrid and the second in a row for Tokyo.

Top officials from each country joined the final presentations to better each city’s chances of hosting the world’s largest sporting event. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his counterparts Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Mariano Rajoy of Spain flew to Buenos Aires straight from the just-concluded G20 summit in Russia.

The next summer Olympics will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

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