Tokyo unveils Olympic bid logo

2011-11-30 16:45

Tokyo -Tokyo on Wednesday became the first of the six cities bidding for the 2020 Olympics to unveil its campaign logo - a garland of cherry blossoms, Japan's most celebrated flower.

The bidding team for Tokyo, which hosted Asia's first Olympics in the summer of 1964 but lost out to Rio de Janeiro in the bid for the 2016 edition, said that the garland symbolises a move to "come full circle".

Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara has declared the bid would be a "big catalyst" for reconstruction and revival after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March left 20 000 people dead or missing and sparked a nuclear emergency.

"A garland symbolises a move to 'come back again,'" Ai Shimamine, a 22-year-old Tokyo art student who designed the logo, said at a ceremony unveiling the colourful artwork.

"I want Japan to restore its vitality and I hope the Olympics and Paralympics would give a momentum to the effort," she said.

Apart from Tokyo, Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid and Rome have formally applied to host the 2020 Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee will vote on the host city in September 2013.

Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda, who also chairs the Tokyo bid committee, told the ceremony: "I hope that the logo will be loved around the world and play a great role in bringing us victory.

"It symbolises the concepts of friendship, peace, eternity, happiness and unity, concepts that we hold most dear."