Tokyo 2020 planning team revamped


Tokyo 2020 revamps creative team Image: Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee

The organizing committee for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games has revamped the planning team for the sports extraordinaire’s opening ceremonies and Hiroshi Sasaki have been appointed as the Executive Creative Director of the same.

Sasaki was one of the seven Directors in Tokyo 2020’s original creative team and had served as the Executive Creative Director for the Paralympics. Under his new role, he will have oversight on all four ceremonies across the Olympics and Paralympics.

The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, and commonly known as Tokyo 2020, is an upcoming international multisport event scheduled to be held from July 23rd to August 8th , 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo 2020 has maintained that next year’s opening and closing ceremonies would be “in tune with the situation” next summer and would take a simpler and more restrained approach, in harmony with the overall simplification of the Games amid COVID-19 which is causing even more problems with its new strain.

Keeping the coronavirus situation in mind, in lieu of the previous seven-member planning team will come up a new structure. The initial team had comprised Sasaki as Executive Creative Director for the Paralympics, as well as Mansai Nomura as Chief Executive Creative Director, Takashi Yamazaki as Executive Creative Director for the Olympics, and four other Creative Directors.

Nomura will take on an advisory role with the organizing committee following the scaling back of the creative team. He was named Head Creative Director in July 2018.

This team was responsible for ideating the opening and closing ceremonies until the Games were postponed back in March. Following the postponement, the organizing committee has arrived at a decision to scale back the ceremonies keeping in mind the COVID-19 scourge.

After his appointment to the new role, Sasaki remarked, “I want to express some sort of breakthrough or hope for the future (in the ceremonies). This is a chance to change the inflated image of Olympic ceremonies as being flamboyant stage shows.”

Sasaki oversaw the flag handover ceremony at the Rio 2016 Olympics, when the former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, dressed up as Super Mario (the platform game series created by Nintendo, featuring their mascot, Mario). Sasaki had also taken over the mantle of the one-year Olympic countdown event at Tokyo’s National Stadium back in July this year.

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