The Summer Olympics is the greatest sporting event on the face of the Earth. In its modern form, it has been held every four years except during the World Wars and the Covid-19 outbreak since 1896.
Here are some trivia questions and answers about the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.
- What is the official name of this year’s Olympic Games? – Despite the fact that they will be held in 2021, the official name for the games is the Games of the XXXII Olympiad and it also referred to as Tokyo 2020.
- When were the Summer Olympics last postponed? – The 1916 Olympics, which would have been held in Berlin, were cancelled due to World War I. The 1940 Summer Olympics were originally planned to be held in Japan, but Japan cancelled in 1938 because of their war with China. The games were rescheduled for Helsinki, but cancelled after the start of World War II. London was scheduled to host the 1944 Summer Olympics, but these were also cancelled. The 2020 games are the first ones to be postponed.
- What cities competed with Tokyo to host the games? – Istanbul and Madrid also competed to be the host. In the final round of voting, Tokyo was selected over Istanbul 60-36.
- What new sports will be part of the Summer Olympics? – Four sports will make their Olympic debut in 2021. They are surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing and karate. Also, baseball and softball will return to the games for the first time since 2008.
- Will wrestling be a part of the Olympic Games in 2021? – In February of 2013 the Olympic Committee voted to remove wrestling from the 2020 games. This immediately sparked a backlash. Many pointed out that wrestling has been a part of all modern Olympiads, going back to 1896. In addition, it was part of the ancient Greek Olympics. In September of 2013 it was voted back into the 2020 and 2024 Summer Olympics
- How many times has Asia hosted the Summer Olympics? – The 2021 games will mark the fourth time Asia has hosted the Summer Olympics. Tokyo also hosted the Olympics in 1964, while Seoul hosted the 1988 games and Beijing was the location of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
- Will Michael Phelps be swimming at the Tokyo Olympics? – For the first time since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Phelps will not be competing. At the 2000 Olympics, the fifteen year old finished fifth in 200 meter butterfly. He went on to win 28 medals (23 gold) the most of any Olympic athlete. At Beijing in 2008 he won eight gold medals, surpassing the seven of Mark Spitz at the 1972 games in Munich.
- What is the mascot for the 2021 Olympic Games? – The mascot’s name is Miraitowa, which is a combination of the Japanese words for future and eternity. Over two thousand submissions were made to the Japanese organizing committee. They narrowed it down to three finalists, and Japanese school children selected the winner from those three. The winner was created by Japanese artist Ryo Taniguchi. Miraitowa has a blue and white checkered color scheme, which matches the official logo of the Tokyo games.
Be sure to watch the opening ceremony for this year’s Summer Olympics on Friday, July 23. It will be followed by 16 days of athletic competition. For the first time in Olympic history, competitions will be held in surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing and karate. America’s national pastime baseball will return for the first time since 2008, along with softball.