Virtual attendance of fans in Tokyo 2020


Digital ‘share the passion’ initiative to replace physical fans in Tokyo Image: Tokyo 2020

As the largest sporting showpiece on earth is all set to take place in the month of July – Tokyo 2020 – the highly volatile COVID-19 situation globally has ensured that overseas fans are not able to attend this sporting extraordinaire and even for the domestic fans in Japan a limit of 10,000 in each venue has been set.

The ‘Tokyo 2020 Olympics’ stated that die-hard sports fans might not be able to attend Tokyo 2020 in person, but for the first time at a major international sports event, one will now be able to appear virtually.

Tokyo 2020 recently launched the ‘Share The Passion’ project which will allow athletes’ family members and spectators from all over the world the opportunity to express their support for the athletes by sending text and video messages with a selection displayed on the big screens during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021.

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – the most spectacular sporting showpiece on earth – will be celebrated from July 23rd to August 8th, 2021. The Paralympic Games will be held from August 24th, 2021 to September 5th, 2021.

The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, and also known as Tokyo 2020, is an upcoming international multisport event to be held in Tokyo, Japan.

Support from spectators and family members are key to helping athletes perform at their best, and cheering on Olympic and Paralympic athletes is an unforgettable experience for fans.

The ‘Tokyo 2020 Olympics’ further stated that although this year’s Games will be different to ones held previously as fans from all over the world will not descend on Tokyo with COVID-19 playing the spoilsport, the new Tokyo 2020 ‘Share The Passion’ initiative will enable fans around the world to join the Games remotely and offer confidence-boosting encouragement to those competing.

Said Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto, “When we announced in March this year that overseas spectators would unfortunately not be allowed to come to Japan for the Games, we also said that we would think of ways to help people around the world share their support for the athletes. In a world divided by the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe that the Tokyo 2020 Games will contribute to the renewal of connections and bonds between people, and that the power of sport will help bring the world together again. I am looking forward to many people around the world taking this opportunity to be a part of the Games and deliver their messages of support to the athletes.”

How to participate

Fans can choose from one of the three participation options below and post their messages of support on social media:

  • Record video messages featuring movements to the rhythm of the 2020beat and post it on social media with the hashtag ‘#2020beat’;
  • Create an original video of yourself cheering, and post this on social media with the hashtag ‘#DearAthletes’; and
  • Send supportive messages by text, posting this on social media with the hashtag ‘#DearAthletes’.

Participants must confirm their approval of secondary use of their submitted material, detailed on the ‘Share The Passion’ page.

Japanese broadcaster NHK will also show a selection of these videos in conjunction with their own project ‘Let’s Cheer for the World!’ on video screens at selected venues.

Of ‘Cheer Map’ and ‘Fan Video Wall’

Audiences will be able to access the ‘Cheer Map’ and ‘Fan Video Wall’ on the Tokyo 2020 website during the Olympic Games, from July 21st to August 8th, 2021, and an ‘Athlete Moment’ station will be created at selected venues, allowing athletes to connect live with family and friends right after the competition ends.

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