photo courtesy Tokyo 2020

photo courtesy Tokyo 2020

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Tokyo 2020 support now 70 percent, up 23 from 47

TOKYO — Headline: IOC survey shows local support for Tokyo 2020 now 70 percent, up 23 percent from 47 last year.

The International Olympic Committee gave Tokyo 2020’s bid a boost Tuesday with the release of those survey figures. At 47 percent, which was what the IOC measured in what was called the “Working Group Report” last May, Tokyo might as well have not bothered; the IOC likes to feel welcomed.

Left to right: ski jump champ Sara Takanashi, Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose, Tokyo 2020 bid president Tsunekazu Takeda, Singapore 2010 Youth Games gymnastics gold medalist Yuya Kamoto

Left to right: ski jump champ Sara Takanashi, Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose, Tokyo 2020 bid president Tsunekazu Takeda, Singapore 2010 Youth Games gymnastics gold medalist Yuya Kamoto

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Tokyo 2020: a search for connection

TOKYO — To say that staff and officials of the Tokyo 2020 bid committee were feeling tense and nervous would be an understatement. On a scale of one to 10, nerves were cosmic. Maybe galactic. This was the first of the three bid-city visits — Madrid and Istanbul come later this month — and Tokyo is a place where things are expected to be done right. As Yuki Ota, a London 2012 silver medalist in fencing would later say about how much he had prep work he had done to meet the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission here Monday, “My paper was worn out, that’s how much I practiced.”

The formality of the setting in which the bid committee meets the IOC does not particularly lend itself to easy interaction. Here is the Tokyo set-up, typical of such arrangements:

Sir Craig Reedie, chairman of the IOC Evaluation Commission, arrives at Tokyo's Narita International Airport to begin a four-day review of its bid for the 2020  Games // Photo Shugo Takemi, courtesy Tokyo 2020 Bid Committe

Sir Craig Reedie, chairman of the IOC Evaluation Commission, arrives at Tokyo's Narita International Airport to begin a four-day review of its bid for the 2020 Games // Photo Shugo Takemi, courtesy Tokyo 2020 Bid Committe

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Big-picture IOC thinking in this election year

Sir Craig Reedie, an International Olympic Committee vice-president, got the full red-carpet welcome Friday at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

Photographers happily caught Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose introducing his wife, Yuriko, to Sir Craig. In another shot, Sir Craig was seen bounding along Narita’s walkways with a bouquet of welcoming flowers, a perfect tableau to set the stage for the IOC evaluation commission’s four-day inspection of Tokyo’s plan to host the 2020 Games.