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  • Tokyo Olympic Venues Escape Earthquake Damage


    Yoyogi Gymnasium, seen in the background, has avoided damage from the earthquake that rocked Japan. (IOC)
    (ATR) Venues in Tokyo from the 1964 Olympics appear to have escaped unscathed from the massive earthquake, including the venue for this month’s figure skating world championships, Around the Rings is told.

    Yasuhiro Nakamori, international relations director for the Japanese Olympic Committee says all staff at the JOC have escaped harm along with the Olympic venues.

    He attributes the lack of damage to Japan’s stringent building codes.

    Nakamori says the Yoyogi Gymnasium, the venue for the upcoming ISU Figure Skating World Championships, is not affected nor the Keio Hotel, the official hotel for the March 21 to 27 event.

    A link on the homepage of the championships website titled “About Japan Quake” dated March 11 does not work. Clicking on it leads to a page on the ISU website with a message: “You have requested a page that no longer exists.”

    All three bids for the 2018 Winter Games will attend the championships where about a half-dozen IOC members are expected as well.

    The 8.9 magnitude quake struck about 140km off the northeast coast of Japan, about 500 km from Tokyo. Damage and property loss will easily run into the billions despite Japan’s earthquake
    Friday's earthquake was one of the strongest recorded tremors of all time. Nineteen aftershocks have been reported. (Getty Images)

    Along with the Yoyogi Gymnasium, built for aquatics and basketball for 1964, the National Stadium used for ceremonies and athletics and Budokan arena are the major venues left from the Games, along with infrastructure such as roadways and hotels.

    The JOC is currently considering a bid for the 2020 Games, either from Hiroshima or Tokyo, which bid for 2016. A decision is not expected until after the IOC decision on the 2018 Winter Olympics July 6. A victory by PyeongChang could rule out a Japanese 2020 bid.

    Written by Ed Hula.

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