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: